Beyond business as usual: joint forces to achieve real impact in education and community development

What happens when the world’s four largest cocoa and chocolate companies and an international child and youth development foundation join forces? Nothing less than achieving measurable impact through community development and education in Côte d’Ivoire with an innovative partnership of pioneering character for the entire industry and beyond. Under the roof of the Jacobs Foundation’s Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities (TRECC) program, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, Barry Callebaut, and Mars will reach out to at least 16’000 children and youth and 72’000 adults over the next three years to provide quality education, empower women and assure child labour remediation. The four industry partners jointly invest CHF 5 million on top of their broader commitments under CocoaAction, and the Jacobs Foundation will match the companies’ investments with CHF 3.78 million when project goals are achieved.

Payment by results

The payment by results-mechanism is a cutting-edge financial instrument in the field of social transformation. It is a payment mechanism where implementing organizations get all or part of their payment upon achieving a set of predefined results. This is in contrast to traditional grants where payments may be made upfront, or on the delivery of inputs rather than results. An independent evaluation will be performed at the inception and end of project implementation, ensuring impartial, rigorous impact measurement of previously agreed result criteria. Lavinia Jacobs, Chair of the Jacobs Foundation, highlights: “By setting up these partnerships between the Jacobs Foundation and the cocoa and chocolate industry on the basis of accountability and results orientation, we are laying a strong foundation for jointly improving the well-being of cocoa growing communities and their children in Côte d’Ivoire in the long-run. The mechanism will incentivize us and all involved partners to reach the agreed goals in a cost-effective manner, and thereby positions TRECC projects as a leading social innovation.”

TRECC projects of four leading cocoa and chocolate companies

The Jacobs Foundation has already formed a strategic partnership with the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) to align the efforts of the industry-wide sustainability strategy CocoaAction and TRECC. Noting that CocoaAction member companies recognize the importance of quality education for the sustainability of the industry, among its other activities, TRECC has worked with CocoaAction members to design and implement impactful interventions contributing to socio-economic improvements in rural communities. World Cocoa Foundation Chairman Barry Parkin says, “We are very pleased to see our partnership with the Jacobs Foundation helping to create new opportunities for members of the chocolate and cocoa industry to address key community development issues in cocoa-growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire. Through our CocoaAction initiative, TRECC is effectively leveraging WCF’s ability to convene industry, while capturing best practices, innovations, and general learnings that will inform future activities.”

Mondelēz International, together with World Education International, will set up childcare centres in Cote d’Ivoire to provide quality early childhood education for children aged 3-5 in cocoa-growing communities as part of its TRECC partnership. In line with Mondelēz International’s cocoa sourcing program, Cocoa Life, with its comprehensive approach to empower women, the TRECC project will also provide women farmers with literacy training and access to savings and credit facilities, designed to improve the shock resilience and income of cocoa growing households, while young girls who are out of school will receive tailored vocational training opportunities.  “Early childhood education is not only critical to inspire youth through education. It also helps empower women by freeing up time to earn income, improve cocoa productivity and take leadership positions in farming and community organizations,” says Christine McGrath, Vice President of Sustainability, Cocoa Life, and External Affairs at Mondelēz International “Having the support of the Jacobs Foundation enables us to amplify Cocoa Life’s impact in our key focus areas such as youth, community and women’s empowerment and therefore, to scale up our holistic approach.”

Nestlé’s TRECC project aims to reduce the risk of child labour through improving literacy and numeracy levels. Nestlé’s partner, the International Cocoa Initiative, will set up informal bridging classes for out-of-school children aged 9-13, and will provide additional support for children attending school but at risk of dropping out. The project includes supplementary literacy training for adult women farmers, as improving mothers’ education can positively influence family well-being and the learning perspectives of their children. Darrell High, Cocoa Manager Nestlé states: “Nestlé is proud to partner with ICI, as part of the Jacobs Foundation’s TRECC program, to deliver much needed literacy and numeracy training for children and mothers in cocoa communities. By improving educational support, we hope to improve the prospects for families and further reduce the likelihood of child labour taking place”

Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products will establish a comprehensive youth vocational training in rural, cocoa-growing communities as its TRECC project. Over a two-year period, participating youth will access an accredited training in a farming service of their choice, e.g. pruning trees, fertilizer application and seedling nursery set up. The program does not only provide employment potential for youth and hence income for their families, but also contributes to the long-term professionalization of the cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire. In its effort to further increase household income and women’s influence within the household, young women will be trained in agroforestry, a sustainable land use method to diversify crops and income sources. Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Barry Callebaut, says: “We are proud that together with the Jacobs Foundation, we are contributing to long-term, sustainable cocoa production in Côte d’Ivoire.  Providing schooling for young people is included in the purpose of our company. Training young people, in particular women, in yield improving techniques will provide them with a better income, so they can prosper and make sure that the chocolate we all love is around for generations to come.”

Mars aims at strengthening women’s role in cocoa growing communities by equipping them with financial and agricultural skills, and engaging with men and boys to address gender inequalities. Together with its implementing partner CARE International, Mars is establishing Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) in 24 communities to teach and enable women to save and borrow funds. Sarah Schaefer, Global Corporate Sustainability Director for Mars Chocolate, says: “When women are financially empowered, they are better equipped to take control of household decision-making. Compared to men, women are known to invest more in their families – from children’s education to family health – which leads to long-term benefits for entire communities and future generations.”

Building on this first pioneering set of partnerships, the Jacobs Foundation is committed to deepen its engagement with the cocoa and chocolate industry by bundling effective, evidence-based education models with the industry’s on-going interventions on the ground in future collaborations.

About the Jacobs Foundation
The Jacobs Foundation is one of the world’s leading charitable foundations dedicated to improving the living conditions of children and youth. The Foundation was established in 1989 by Klaus J. Jacobs and his family in an effort to benefit future generations by providing young people with better opportunities for development, so that they can become productive and socially responsible members of society. As a research informed organization, we base funding decisions on solid evidence and enable systemic change through comprehensive approaches. For more information, visit www.jacobsfoundation.org.

About TRECC

More information on TRECC (Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities  https://jacobsfoundation.org/project/trecc-sustainability-through-strengthening-education-in-ivory-coast/

About WCF

The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is an international membership organization that promotes sustainability in the cocoa sector. WCF provides cocoa farmers with the support they need to grow more quality cocoa and socially and economically strengthen their communities. WCF’s members include cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies worldwide, representing more than 80 percent of the global cocoa market. For more information, visit www.worldcocoafoundation.org or follow us on Twitter.com/WorldCocoa and Facebook.com/WorldCocoaFoundation.

About CocoaAction

CocoaAction was created by 10 global leaders in the cocoa and chocolate industry to improve the quality of life of cocoa farmers while ensuring the long-term sustainability of cocoa production. Through CocoaAction, these companies have committed to providing access to productivity improvements for some 300,000 cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana by the year 2020. At the same time, these activities are being paired with efforts to strengthen farmer’s communities through primary education, eradicating child labour, and empowering women. More information on CocoaAction: http://www.worldcocoafoundation.org/about-wcf/cocoaaction/

Media contacts:

Jacobs Foundation: Alexandra Güntzer, Alexandra.guentzer@jacobsfoundation.org, +41 79 821 74 29

World Cocoa Foundation : Tim McCoy, Tim.McCoy@worldcocoa.org , +1 202 737 7870

Barry Callebaut : Bjoern Emde, bjoern_emde@barry-callebaut.com , +41 43 204 03 26

Mars : Jessica Graves, jessica.graves@effem.com, +1 908 619 0782

Mondelēz International : Valerie Moens, news@mdlz.com, +1 847 943 5678

Nestlé : mediarelations@nestle.com / ICI: Borjana Pervan, b.pervan@cocoainitiative.org, +41 79 194 0835