Introducing Barry Callebaut’s Future Farming Initiative FFI

Barry Callebaut Unveils Future Farming Initiative (FFI) to Revolutionize Cocoa Farming

Barry Callebaut Group has initiated the Future Farming Initiative (FFI) with the aim of establishing a fully scalable, sustainable, and profitable model for cocoa farming within the industry. The FFI will draw upon insights gained to assist cocoa farmers in origin sourcing countries as they transition towards more efficient and sustainable farming practices.

Effective immediately, Steven Retzlaff, the current President of Global Cocoa, will assume the role of Executive Chairman of FFI, directly reporting to Peter Feld, CEO of Barry Callebaut. The company will establish the investment entity FFI, initially under full ownership by Barry Callebaut, while concurrently developing technology and research capabilities for scalability. Barry Callebaut envisions FFI as a driving force for additional investments in farming and the formation of partnerships with farmers to modernize sustainable cocoa farming on a large scale.

Peter Feld emphasized the company’s commitment to sustainability and stakeholder responsibility, citing the progress made through initiatives like the Forever Chocolate program. With a decade of accumulated expertise, Barry Callebaut aims to lead the way in sustainable, high-tech cocoa farming for the industry. Steven Retzlaff’s appointment to lead FFI reflects his renowned leadership and extensive experience, particularly in transforming Barry Callebaut’s Global Cocoa business over the past two decades.

Under Steven Retzlaff’s direction, Barry Callebaut has initiated agreements with a reputable high-tech farming enterprise in Bahia, Brazil, for the initial development of 5,000 hectares of land. The collaborative effort aims to pilot and refine best practices to establish a scalable and profitable model for sustainable cocoa farming. Additionally, Barry Callebaut’s existing Farm of the Future property in the Cerecitas Valley, Ecuador, will be integrated into FFI. Simultaneously, the company will continue efforts to reform the current cocoa farming model in its origin sourcing countries, incorporating insights from FFI into its transformative approach.

Steven Retzlaff expressed enthusiasm for the challenge ahead, emphasizing FFI’s potential to elevate cocoa farming to industrial standards while championing sustainability. He highlighted the opportunity to share knowledge and expertise from FFI with partners across origin sourcing countries, furthering their journey towards productive and sustainable cocoa farming.

In tandem with Steven Retzlaff’s transition, Alain Freymond, a seasoned executive with 20 years of experience at Barry Callebaut, will succeed him as President of Global Cocoa. Alain Freymond’s extensive background in various critical roles within global cocoa operations positions him well to drive continued innovation and growth in this area.

The Board of Directors and Peter Feld expressed gratitude to Steven Retzlaff for his instrumental role in Barry Callebaut’s growth and welcomed Alain Freymond to his new leadership position, signaling a commitment to further advancement in cocoa farming and sustainability.

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