Beyond Beans Foundation is dedicated to developing and implementing sustainability projects across ETG’s commodity supply chains. The foundation was established in April 2020 when trading company Cocoanect integrated with ETG, and the foundation continues the over 5 years of cocoa sustainability projects developed at Cocoanect. Beyond Beans is based out of the Netherlands and operates in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. The more than 50 project and field staff have experience in a wide range of topics, from tackling child labour to climate-smart agroforestry and promoting gender equity. All the sustainability projects are designed in collaboration with chocolate makers, NGOs and government agencies.
Beyond Beans acknowledges the essential role of women in community development and has developed several women empowerment projects.
In Ivory Coast, project FAME supports women-led cocoa cooperatives to improve their business practices and trains female cocoa farmers on good agricultural practices. To empower women to start other businesses, 19 women savings groups have been established. The 741 families in these groups are trained through the participatory VSLA-GALS method to set up communal income generating activities, like cassava processing or tomato farming.
In Ghana a similar project was started, that combines women empowerment and the protection of children. The project includes 100 saving groups, that in addition to the VSLA-GALS training, are also sensitized on preventing and remediating child labour. The income the women gather from the business they developed, can be partly used for the schooling of their children.