The Cocoa Lead for UPL West & Central Africa, Hubert Ehouman, has shared insights about the company’s contribution to the Cocoa and Forests Initiative 1.0 (CFI 1.0) and its strategies for executing ambitious targets in the Cocoa and Forests Initiative 2.0 (CFI 2.0).
The company, a global provider of sustainable agricultural solutions, said it invested significant resources in CFI 1.0 to help create a more sustainable and profitable cocoa farming system.
The Cocoa and Forests Initiative is a collaborative cocoa industry effort aimed at making cocoa production more sustainable while preserving the environment and supporting farming communities.
Key Learnings from CFI 1.0
The first Cocoa and Forest Initiative campaign dubbed CFI 1.0 spanned a period of 3 years, from 2019 to 2022 and is deemed to have been successful.
Hubert Ehouman attributes this success to the power of collaboration among partners as the cornerstone of the successes chalked.
According to him, working together with governments, cocoa companies, and farming communities had proven immensely successful in making cocoa production more sustainable.
“We have seen that through working together towards a common goal, we can collectively strengthen our offering and support for growers, we can scale our impact, and can usher in a new future for cocoa which sees growers, communities, and forests thrive,” said Ehouman.
One of the significant achievements during CFI 1.0 was the adoption of stewardship practices and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) among cocoa farmers.
UPL’s field teams played a vital role in training farmers in these practices, leading to positive feedback from farmers.
“As the only agri-inputs company to be a [CFI] signatory, we understand the important role we play within cocoa production and are pleased to have seen throughout CFI 1.0 farmers increasingly embrace the training in stewardship and GAPs,” he said.
Ehouman identified their solutions portfolio including the introduction of Banzai, the first biostimulant spray specifically designed for cocoa, as a notable step towards sustainable cocoa production.
Additionally, UPL’s diversification projects helped cocoa farmers explore alternative sources of income, reducing pressure on forests and strengthening local food security.
Execution Strategy for CFI 2.0
Cocoa Post has previously reported plans by UPL to launch its CFI 2.0 Action Plan for the next three years (2022-2025) which outlines ambitions to help foster a sustainable and prosperous cocoa sector.
The UPL Cocoa Lead for West Africa, Hubert Ehouman, expressed the agro-solutions provider’s unwavering commitment to empowering cocoa farmers and leading the sustainable transformation of the cocoa sector in CFI 2.0.
Building on the learnings and success of CFI 1.0, UPL is implementing enhanced training in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and stewardship methods.
This increased training, amounting to 173% of their previous target, will enable more farmers to improve their farming efficiency, productivity, and sustainability.
To achieve an even greater impact, UPL is expanding its partnerships with some of the largest cocoa exporters, including Cargill, Barry Callebaut, and Olam.
We have seen the positive impact of coordinated efforts, and are keen to continue and expand these partnerships to achieve more, Ehouman assured.
These partnerships aim to distribute the next generation of innovative products over the next three years, further reinforcing the positive effects of coordinated efforts.
The global agricultural inputs giant says is gearing up to activate major highlights for CFI 2.0 with the launch of three new products this year to support cocoa growers.
The products are Evito P, a copper-free fungicide, along with two natural solutions, Genius (a 100% organic fungicide) and a new formulation of their leading natural solution, Banzai Bonus, which are expected to play a crucial role in ensuring healthier and stronger cocoa plants.
Looking Towards a Sustainable Future
Ehouman reaffirmed UPL’s commitment to building on the learnings, impact, and success of CFI 1.0 to further improve its value offering for cocoa communities in CFI 2.0.
With an expanded network of partnerships and innovative products on the horizon, UPL is determined to continue supporting cocoa farmers, promoting sustainable practices, and nurturing the well-being of both the farmers and the environment.
The Cocoa and Forests Initiative 2.0 promises to be an essential milestone in the journey towards a more sustainable cocoa sector in West & Central Africa.
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