Mondelēz increases sustainably sourced cocoa supplies

Volumes of sustainably sourced cocoa delivered by Mondelēz International have increased 14% over the past two years, to 35%, according to its latest studies.

The global confectionery business has released its third annual progress report for its Cocoa Life programme, which aims to improve supply chain and improve farming community livelihoods within: Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, India and Brazil.

As the company’s report revealed, by the end of 2017, its scheme reached 120,500 farmers (up 31% compared to 2016) in 1,085 communities (up 26%).

Cocoa sustainably sourced through Cocoa Life was expanded to more products, including the full Cadbury Dairy Milk line in the U.K. and Ireland as well as Oreo cookies in Europe, connecting even more consumers who enjoy Mondelēz International brands to cocoa farmers.

“Cocoa Life has truly changed our farms by giving us training so that we can protect the environment and have sustainable cocoa production,” said Ohena Boafo, cocoa farmer and union president of West Akyem Co-operative Cocoa Farmers & Marketing Union.

“Before Cocoa Life, my farm had old and diseased trees that were not able to bear enough fruit. I harvested about 20 bags for the whole year. Since joining this programme, I have replanted my farm and now produce more than 100 bags a year. With this additional income, I can take good care of my wife and my children.”

Cocoa Life’s holistic approach addresses diverse challenges in cocoa farming communities by focusing on five main areas. Achievements by the end of 2017 include the training of 88,134 farmers, and distribution of nearly 5.8 million cocoa seedlings to increase productivity and promote growth of higher quality cocoa.

Its community action place included assisting more than 1,000 farming centres, helping them identify their needs and secure resources. These plans are driven and owned by the communities and give women a voice in decision-making.

In addition, the company said it had provided nearly 52,000 community members, mostly women, with access to finance and improved their financial literacy through 1,828 operational Village Savings and Loan Associations. Members use these funds for investments, start-up capital for new businesses, farm rehabilitation, children’s school fees and farm labour.

“Cocoa Life is essential to our business and I’m proud to see the progress we’ve made on the ground, working directly in cocoa communities,” said Christine Montenegro McGrath, chief well-being, sustainability, public & government affairs officer.

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