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  • Cocoa Horizons Foundation – Sustainable Cocoa Farming

Cocoa Horizons

What is Cocoa Horizons?

Cocoa Horizons is an impact driven program focused on cocoa farmer prosperity and helping build self-sustaining farming communities that protect nature and children. The Cocoa Horizons Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization supervised by the Swiss Federal Foundation Supervisory Authority. It was established in 2015 by Barry Callebaut.

Our purpose

To improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities through the promotion of sustainable, entrepreneurial farming, improved productivity, and community development, which protect nature and children.

The challenges faced by cocoa farmers and their communities

Cocoa is typically produced by smallholder farmers in remote equatorial areas. Most of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa, an area that faces the industry’s most vital sustainability challenges. Among them: limited knowledge and understanding of good agricultural practices; aging farms and depleted soil; the unpredictable effects of climate change; and a lack of financing options to invest in productivity activities.

Cocoa communities often lack basic infrastructure and services, including schools, literacy and vocational training, access to safe water, and basic healthcare services. Gender imbalance also affects the sustainability of cocoa farming communities, with women having limited opportunities to build skills and generate income.

In order to help shape a sustainable cocoa and chocolate future, Barry Callebaut established the Cocoa Horizons Foundation as a means to scale impact and drive on-the-ground change in cocoa growing communities. The Foundation collaborates with farmers to understand and address the challenges that can prevent them from having decent livelihoods, driving the next generation away from cocoa farming.

To drive cocoa farmer prosperity, create self-sustaining farming communities, and achieve real progress, the Cocoa Horizons Foundation’s impact based approach targets funds toward the most impactful activities that achieve meaningful change across three key areas: productivity, community, and environment.

These activities will enable farmers to lift themselves out of poverty, eradicate child labor, and result in a deforestation-free cocoa supply chain.

Barry Callebaut sells Horizons cocoa and chocolate products with a premium that goes in full to the Cocoa Horizons Foundation in order to support sustainable cocoa activities. Customers can leverage Cocoa Horizons tools in their marketing, to communicate their participation in sustainable cocoa cultivation to their consumers.

Continuous Improvement

Through Cocoa Horizons, data on the farms is collected to understand the unique needs of each farmer in order to develop tailored business plans to improve livelihoods, as well as to measure the impact of the activities funded by the Cocoa Horizons Foundation. Impact data will be assessed annually to ensure that the Cocoa Horizons methodology prescribes the best approach to build self-sustaining farming communities that protect nature and children. If the anticipated impact is not realized, the Cocoa Horizons Foundation will continuously improve upon its approach, to achieve its commitments on productivity, community and environment.


We are funded via three main sources:

  • Through the customer premiums paid for sustainable Horizons chocolate and cocoa products.
  • From contributions by donors and partners who are inspired to support the mission of the Foundation.
  • From Barry Callebaut contributions.

Verifying our funding and activities

We are audited annually by a global audit firm. The activities and distribution of premiums of HORIZONS cocoa and chocolate products are also independently verified. Summary reports are posted on our website annually.

How do we allocate funds?

The Board approves a budget and activity plan for each financial year. The decisions the Board makes are firmly steered by the Foundation’s mission to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities through sustainable, entrepreneurial farming, improved productivity, and community development. The allocation of Cocoa Horizons premiums is as follows*:

Cocoa Horizons recognized by the Sustainability Standards Map

Standards Map is a global public good which provides comprehensive, verified and transparent information on over 260 standards for environmental protection, worker and labor rights, economic development, quality and business ethics.

Cocoa Horizons supports the Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are a call to action by the United Nations to transform our world by promoting prosperity for all while protecting our planet. Cocoa Horizons mission and activities around the pillars of Productivity, Community and Environment support the Sustainable Development Goals.