Whittaker'S

WHITTAKER’S COMMITMENT TO ITS GHANAIAN COCOA FARMERS

New Zealand’s fine chocolate makers, Whittaker’s has built new facilities for the two cocoa cooperatives in Ghana that it sources cocoa beans from, showcasing its commitment to building closer relationships with its Ghanaian cocoa farmers.

In addition, the company announced earlier this year its new partnership with Rainforest Alliance.

These initiatives are part of Whittaker’s goal towards delivering on global commitments to full traceability of cocoa across the entire cocoa supply chain.

Matt
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Matt Whittaker, Whittaker’s Co-Chief Operating Officer says,

Under the Rainforest Alliance partnership, the substantially increased investment Whittaker’s is making in certified cocoa directly benefits the two cooperatives that Whittaker’s sources from, which provides a platform to invest in additional complementary initiatives that make a difference to those cooperatives specifically.

The company usually visits their two Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa cooperatives in Ghana regularly. With the COVID-19 pandemic, that has not been possible this year – their last trip was in late 2019.

On these trips they review operations with the cooperatives and ask what they can do to improve conditions in their communities.

On the last trip, the condition of the schools washrooms was raised by both cooperatives, so Whittaker’s funded the design and construction of a 92sqm washroom at Kofi Gyan Primary & Junior High School in Asankrangwa and a 73sqm washroom at Gold Coast Camp Primary & Junior High School in Assin Fosu.

Clean water and hygiene cannot be taken for granted in the communities in the region, and of course with current circumstances, they happen to be of especial importants.

Built by local contractors, the washrooms feature new plumbing that reduces risks of wastewater contamination of land and waterways as well as improved hygiene.

The new facilities were completed at the end of November, in time for them to be operational within the first term of Ghana’s school year.

Matt says,

We’re really pleased to have the chance to contribute something that they themselves identified as a real need, and look forward to continuing to work with them on ways we can help make a difference.

While it might not sound as impressive as the big companies projects, every small investment makes a difference, and from a corporate point of view, not only does the company get some good publicity they rightfully deserve, but when executives travel to the country and seeing the difference with their own eyes, it is very impactful on the individual.

Earlier in the year when the world was hit by the Covid pandemic, Whittaker’s donated personal protective equipment by airfreighting 2,000 masks and purchasing 2,200 bottles of hand sanitisers to Ghana to support the local economy. This was to help keep cocoa farmers at the Asankrangwa and Assin Fosu cocoa cooperatives safe.

Holly Whittaker, Whittaker’s Co-Chief Operating Officer, says these initiatives are all part of Whittaker’s wider sustainability-focused ‘Good Honest Chocolate’ programme, which includes initiatives to achieve full traceability of cocoa by 2025 in line with international commitments.

Whittakers Chocolate
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Whittaker’s entire range of 116 products that are crafted with Ghanaian cocoa beans is 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified™. Rainforest Alliance is working on initiatives in Ghana to enable full traceability of Ghanaian cocoa beans, including geo-mapping of cocoa farms.

Whittaker’s undertakes its own initiatives to support cocoa farmers in neighbouring Samoa under the Whittaker’s Cocoa Improvement Programme it has established there.

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