As cocoa trees get older, they produce less yield. Eventually, the tree’s crop diminishes to such an extent that the farmer needs to consider replacing it. However this represents a gap in production which places the farmer’s income at risk.
In 2010, we established cocoa tree nurseries to grow healthy, disease-resistant cocoa trees at scale. These younger, higher-yielding trees were distributed to the farmers who needed them. The farmers’ cooperatives used their practical, hands-on experience to help us manage the nurseries and planting.
In less than a decade, we have grown 12 million cocoa seedlings for farmers. This is making a major difference. Older trees may only produce 100-200kg of cocoa per hectare. But the younger trees we supply are able to produce 800-900kg in the same area. This means that the farmers gain extra income from their land at no additional cost, and we ensure our cocoa supply is more sustainable.