Cyclone Enawo hitting Madagascar – Barry Callebaut and Prova providing immediate assistance to support farmers on the ground
Last week, cyclone Enawo hit Madagascar as the most powerful storm in 13 years. The storm reached the island in the SAVA region, where Barry Callebaut and Prova launched their joint project to introduce cocoa farming to Madagascar’s main vanilla producing area. Currently, a full assessment of the damages and the effects to the joint project is in progress. Both companies are donating CHF 50,000 for immediate support of the local farmers.
From Tuesday to Friday last week, powerful tropical cyclone Enawo hit Madagascar and crossed the island from North to South, with strong winds, heavy rains, rising waters and floodings. It is currently not possible to fully assess the damages on the ground. Some of the affected areas are still not accessible as well as communication infrastructure is impaired. According to the latest official reports, Cyclone Enawo affected 295,950 people of which 175,142 are located in the SAVA, one of the main producing areas of natural vanilla in Madagascar.
CHF 50,000 to cover for the very basics after Enawo
Last fall, Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading producer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa, and Prova, one of the world’s premier manufacturers of vanilla extracts and flavours, joined forces to diversify and stabilize revenues of vanilla farmers through the introduction of cocoa farming. The joint project’s activities are focusing on the SAVA region, the main vanilla growing in the northern part of Madagascar – heavily hit now by the Enawo cyclone.
As young cocoa trees were being planted shortly before the storm, the coming days will reveal how Enawo affected the joint project. Furthermore, damages are not only impacting vanilla and cocoa, but also other cash crops such as rice, cloves, market gardening essential to the livelihood of local populations.
“Since last Wednesday, our local teams have been mobilized to support the local communities in their first needs, making the assessment of damages and organizing the most suited response.” comments Alessandra Ognibene-Lerouvillois, Chief Sustainability Officer at Prova.
In order to immediately support the local farmers and cover for the very basics in this very difficult situation, both Barry Callebaut and Prova decided to donate CHF 50,000. These funds will be used for food, drinkable water supply, fixing damaged houses, basic infrastructure rebuilding, protecting non-damaged vanilla plots against thefts, etc.
Oliver von Hagen, Sustainability Manager Global Sourcing at Barry Callebaut, says: “Currently, we do not know the full extent of the damages and how this will affect the current project of Prova and Barry Callebaut. But it is important to us that we can help the local farmers in a pragmatic and fast way.”
Fully committed to the project’s main goals
We will keep reporting about the situation on the ground as well as the use and the impact of our joint relief activities.
One of the main goals of initiating the joint project was to fund and support local communities through social, health and education programs. Today, after Enowa, Barry Callebaut and Prova are more than ever committed to this endeavour.