Mars Wrigley joins with major confectionery brands in progressing CFI cocoa initiative

Mars Wrigley has joined with other major confectionery groups in releasing a performance update on its sustainability commitments within the cocoa supply chain in key African producing nations.

The business has played its part of the multi-agency Cocoa and Forest Initiative, between the governments of Ghana and Ivory Coast, working with industry over the past three years to improve the lives of farmers within the sector, as well delivering major change on other key issues including environmental protection.

In a statement on its progress, Mars Wrigley said: “In order to achieve a deforestation-free cocoa supply chain by 2025, we have been advancing partnerships with cocoa suppliers, governments and civil society partners who share our common goal of forests preservation for the future, and are accelerating our progress by working only with cocoa suppliers who can be accountable to meet the milestones in our Cocoa for Generations plan.

“Our focus is on traceability and polygon mapping of the farms in our supply chain – and collaboration with others is key to success. The work includes mapping 100% of our supply chain via GPS to the farm level, risk assessment and action plans for all of the countries where we source cocoa including Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, Indonesia, Brazil, Cameroon and Ecuador.

“We’re proud to share that by the end of 2019, we mapped almost 100% of the farms in Ghana and 62% in Côte d’Ivoire. We’ve also made significant progress in tracing the cocoa we source to a country of origin via our Tier 1 direct suppliers, Tier 2 farmer groups and Tier 3 farmer level.

As Mars Wrigley noted, in collaboration with the Grameen Foundation, The Rainforest Alliance, Satelligence and Waterwatch Projects, the business, along with Touton were the first companies to embrace FarmGrow, an Android-based decision-making tool for cocoa farmers that combines agronomy and economics to help them improve their productivity and the sustainability of their farms in the long-term.

The initiative builds on an earlier initiative called the Farm Development Plan that provides an individualised agribusiness planning and monitoring tool for cocoa farmers.

Individual farmer coaching helps to consistently maintain farms and increase yields and income from existing cocoa land, thereby avoiding expansion into forests. Using FarmGrow, our suppliers’ field teams can provide customised coaching on farming practices, help farmers prioritise investments, share information about crop management and monitor adoption methods to improve farmers’ yields.

Nana Yaw Bediako is one of the farmers using this transformational technology, and rated its emergence. He said: “I’ve taken part in the cocoa programs that Mars and Touton have introduced to my village for many years, such as certification, and I’ve seen my farm improving thanks to the implementation of new practices and technologies.”

Participating farmers can cocreate a personalised farm development plan that includes an activity plan and profit and loss statement by plot that helps them make informed decisions about how to maximise return on investment and increase their incomes.

As of December 2019, Touton had reached more than 4500 farmers in Ghana, of which 1650 farmers in Ghana effectively adopted a FarmGrow plan.

“I signed up to the FarmGrow program as it was an opportunity to learn more technical skills through continuous coaching. It helps me to clearly understand what to expect from my farm and how to get there based on the resources I have available and the ones I should seek for,” Nana Yaw said. “I’m eager to see the concrete results of the time and resources I have invested in my farm in the coming years for my family and myself.”

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