Improving farmers’ access to credit to drive sustainable cocoa production.
Biopartenaire is a wholly owned subsidiary of Barry Callebaut, one of the largest processors of cocoa and chocolate products globally.
Biopartenaire was established in 2010 and works with cocoa farmers in 292 villages in Côte D’Ivoire to produce quality fermented and dried cocoa. It also trains farmers in good agricultural practices and post-harvest management techniques.
Biopartenaire will provide inputs to farmers on credit (unsecured) on the condition that farmers will save 20% of the credit amount with a partner MFI. Biopartenaire plans to transfer this loan portfolio to the partner MFI to own and manage the credit risk going forward. The project will also provide ongoing coaching to farmers with the aid of a ‘Cocoa App’, which will allow trainers to customize farm business plans for each farmer. The aim will be to improve farm yields and drive sustainable cocoa production, while providing Barry Callebaut with a high degree of supply chain transparency and security.
Working with unbanked cocoa farmers at scale to develop a market for MFIs. This sort of support has only ever been provided in small pilot projects in the past, and has significant potential to create credit histories for smallholder farmers and improve their financial literacy.