WCF Partnership Meeting: Ears on for Chocolats Halba

by Administrator

Soils exhausted, sick cocoa trees, poor farmers: The challenges in the cocoa sector are great. What could cocoa farming look like if all stakeholders - farmers, chocolate producers and the environment - benefited in the long term? "We need total change. We must get away from harmful monocultures," Petra Heid, Head of Sustainability at Chocolats Halba, is convinced.

In her presentation today at the Partnership Meeting of the World Cocoa Foundation 2018 in São Paulo, she presents the method of "dynamic agroforestry" that Chocolats Halba is promoting in its projects. With this method, the cocoa is planted together with local root vegetables, fruit trees and timber trees. The advantages of this mixed culture instead of monoculture:

  • The farmers' income increases thanks to higher cocoa productivity and the sale of the various crops.
  • Mixed cultivation promotes biodiversity and soil fertility - artificial fertilizers and pesticides can be dispensed with.
  • The timber trees protect the climate, improve the water balance and prevent erosion.
  • The healthier plants are more resilient to climate change. 

Dynamic agroforestry addresses SDG 1, 2, 13 and 15, among others.

Petra Heid explains what dynamic agroforestry looks like in practice at the WCF Meeting using the example of the FINCA project, which Chocolats Halba launched in Ecuador in 2016. Since then - together with the project partner Swisscontact and the cooperative UNOCACE - more than 227 hectares have been converted into monocultures and almost 280,000 trees have been planted. Chocolats Halba received the Swiss Ethics Award 2018 for "outstanding ethical achievements" for the project, in which women and young people are specifically supported. Our motto: #MixItFixIt.

Are you interested in Petra Heid's presentation at the 2018 WCF Partnership Meeting?
Send an email to sustainability@halba.ch.

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