CACAO.academy

Research, design and deployment of effective education for improved health, wealth, and crop productivity for cocoa farmers.

We work with multi-stakeholder programs typically made up of private enterprise, civil service organisation, research and government departments which have been brought together to identify challenges, create solutions and implement interventions for rural and remote farming households. We operate from a One Health model and see that cocoa farmers themselves are the priority stakeholder and work from a transdisciplinary approach with farmer households as the centre of our orientation. 

We produce an evidence-based approach for effective cacao farmer training for sustainable crop productivity, farmer health and household wealth. We build trans-disciplinary farmer education for civil service organisations, government agencies and companies to deliver knowledge and improved practices in cacao growing.

Despite millions of dollars spent on cacao farmer training, it is not effective in knowledge transfer or new practice adoption. Additionally, there is significant evidence of multifactorial impacts of farmer health, livelihood and ecology impacting productivity. CACAO.academy was founded in 2014 to identify the challenges and co-create improved training for farmers to enjoy a better quality of life. Until 2020, over 2000 farmers were trained from South America to Asia to Oceania via farmer field schools and peer-diffusion. We work best with organisations who want to improve social protection for farmers and see the avenue of training as a way to improve household health, wealth and crop yield. Our founding organisation is BLYSS GmbH, a German social enterprise founded in 2009 by Alyssa Jade McDonald – Baertl who created bean to bar chocolate, and came to focus on farmer education, recognising this area of the supply chain needed the most contribution. 

Big Ideas

Typically we work on programs in a team bringing in the specific capacity of farmer pedagogy and health, wealth, crop productivity learning points. It can occur via conducting evidence assessments, formulating and testing learning curriculum,  monitoring and evaluation or programme creation and delivery. While the organisation is based from the social enterprise, BLYSS GmbH from Alyssa Jade McDonald – Baertl, we construct our teams for every programme depending on what expertise is required: contracting in researchers, technology partners, CSOs, public grants or bodies or unilateral organisations. As every project is entirely different, you can follow our #NOW page to see what we are working on and for whom to get an idea of what is currently running.