Cocoa company Touton joins TRECC to boost early childhood development in Ivory Coast

Touton will work in partnership with TRECC to improve the development and well-being of young children in cocoa-growing communities in Ivory Coast. With this new partnership, Touton became the 11th company to join TRECC following Barry Callebaut, Blommer, Cargill, Cémoi, Caboz, The Hershey Company, Mars, Mondelēz International, Nestlé and Tony’s Chocolonely.

Farmers who provide cocoa to Touton will receive training on positive parenting practices to promote early childhood development. The project will be implemented by Ivorian government agents and supervised by the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Parents and other caregivers will be better equipped to provide nurturing care, early learning and appropriate guidance in order to foster healthy and supportive environments for children. This will contribute to children’s brain and body development during their early years, which will help them transition to school and raise their chances for better opportunities and health later on in life. The initiative will reach approximately 800 households in the Gagnoa department.

Enabling families to improve their livelihoods

“Many smallholder farmers have limited access to markets and basic services,” says Touton CEO Patrick de Boussac. “This affects their capacity to invest in their households and their children – and therefore to attain social and human capital objectives, such as education and health. We believe that access to quality education is the most powerful enabler to help smallholder farming families improve their livelihoods.”

“We are keen to see how the initiative we will be working on together can complement and reinforce other community-building projects we have running on the ground, notably as they relate to providing safer, more stimulating and nurturing environments for children,” notes de Boussac. We particularly appreciate the TRECC project delivery approach. Supporting ambitious and innovative pilots that are closely monitored and evaluated, and – where successful – are brought to scale and adapted to be replicated in different regions. We are also very keen on the multi-stakeholder approach which involves public authorities as well as the private sector and civil society.”