The village community and representatives of Chocolat Frey gather for the opening of the health centre in Allakro.
Health centre with maternity ward
Chocolat Frey has been buying its cocoa beans direct from the Necaayo Cooperative since 2012. Five hundred growers in the farming community in the south-west of the Ivory Coast currently produce cocoa for Chocolat Frey. They live in little hamlets spread across eight parishes around the village of Allakro, about an hour from the port town of San Pedro.
Chocolat Frey, the Cooperative’s exclusive partner, has financed construction of a health centre with a maternity ward. This has given some 2500 people in the area access to basic medical care. A water pump and solar electricity plant have also been installed, and two houses built for the nurses, midwives and their families. Another project has expanded a school and refurbished the school canteen.
As they travel around the Allakro cocoa plantations, Chocolat Frey’s sustainability team have seen for themselves the effectiveness of the collaboration with Necaayo. The contractual agreements are being fulfilled and the UTZ premiums used as specified by Chocolat Frey. Some uses of the premiums include downpayments on fertilizers and the purchase of modern harvesting equipment.
During their last visit the team learned that the health centre nurse now has a motorcycle. This means he can carry out vaccinations in the communities and can quickly reach any emergencies. This is an example of the long-term effect of Chocolat Frey’s commitment beyond the end of the project and shows the positive effect that direct, long-term partnerships can have on local development.