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A part of the Cocoa Horizons Foundation

At Simply®, we are proud to be a part of the NGO Cocoa Horizons, which works purposefully to improve the lives of local communities in the cocoa industry. As a chocolate manufacturer, we consider it as an important duty to be aware of our responsibilities. But for us it is much more than a duty. It’s a natural part of Simply® to contribute by creating positive development and being an active force for change in the local communities that surround our cocoa farms. A responsibility that develop a fair, healthy and sustainable future.

Growing a new future

In Africa, it is primarily men who cultivate cocoa beans. If the village relies solely on cocoa production, it makes families highly vulnerable. We want to change that. In collaboration with Cocoa Horizons, we have initiated an experimental greenhouse project where local women cultivate fruits and vegetables, providing families with an alternative source of income. Inside the greenhouse, red tomatoes and dark purple eggplants grow, but so does a new future. In addition to ensuring women a more stable income, the crops are served as lunch in the local school, providing children with a nutritious meal and more energy for their education. The greenhouse project is one of the many ways that Simply - and you - give back to cocoa farmers and their families.

A new role for women

The greenhouse project is run by local women, all of whom have received training to optimize production. They have gained knowledge about cultivation and plant maintenance, seasonal planting, bookkeeping, trade, and the development of new markets. In this way, the project also ensures a new level of independence for the women and creates a more meaningful role in the villages - an important step towards a better future.

Two purposes

The project is relatively new, but the plants in the greenhouse are already sprouting. However, the idea is not for the village families to consume all the vegetables. The production serves two purposes: firstly, to provide local women with an alternative source of income in addition to cocoa beans, and secondly, to ensure better nutrition in the local school.

Sustainable Agriculture through education

This is why we have become a part of Cocoa Horizons, initiated by the Belgian chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut. Cocoa Horizons is dedicated to improving the living conditions of cocoa farmers and local communities. They achieve this through various strategies: by introducing sustainable and innovative farming methods, increasing productivity, and contributing to the development of local communities.

Specifically, Cocoa Horizons educates farmers on ways to enhance their work, such as through new materials, techniques, and innovative financing solutions. To reduce CO2 emissions, farmers learn to prune cocoa trees instead of burning them, engage in denser planting, and plant various types of trees in the fields.

School and education

Simultaneously, Cocoa Horizons closely collaborates with farming communities to make it easier for children and youth to receive an education, support efforts to protect children, provide better opportunities for women's development, and ensure access to clean water and basic healthcare services. For example, currently, 49% of all children between 5 and 17 years old in the local communities are enrolled in school, and we are working to increase that number. Why? Because education is at the core of many solutions to ensure a fantastic future for 'our' cocoa families - and fantastic chocolate for you.