Cocoa sourcing and processing in Africa during times of COVID-19

Africa is the largest cocoa producing region in the world. Jo Thys, VP Cocoa Africa at Barry Callebaut, explains how he and his team ensured the continued sourcing and processing of cocoa, whilst prioritizing the safety of employees and following the precautionary measures introduced by the government.

Jo, can you describe what business continuity looks like in Africa during COVID-19? What were your first priorities?

Our first consideration was the safety of our people, and we had to address this in a rapidly changing situation. Our care also extended beyond our own employees, to outsourced services, such as our security teams and workers from trucking companies who deliver for us.  

Alternative working arrangements, such as home office, meant ensuring that all those who had to suddenly work from home, could do so. To address this we needed to procure adequate resources such as laptops, smartphones and data bundles for our people to enable a smooth transition from the workplace to home office.

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