Mars Wrigley unveils latest Cocoa for Generations report highlighting key progress

A major update on Mars Wrigley’s Cocoa for Generations initiative has underlined that the company remains on track to reach its goal of 100% responsibly sourced cocoa by 2025, with the company reaching a total of 68% of its present international targets, reports Neill Barston.

Notably, its annual appraisal stated that as of January 2023, all of the key ingredient’s crop supplies used for its products including Snickers, Mars, M&M’s Dove/Galaxy, Malteseres and Milky Way for its European customers at its direct factory operations in Europe have already achieved its core sustainability target.

Furthermore, the study examined transforming cocoa production through new climate-smart technologies, which discussed its cutting-edge research centres opening up new possibilities for agronomy and smallholder farmers. Linked to this,  last year, the company introduced a game-changing app that lets farmers assess the health of cacao trees with a simple tap.

The cocoa study also examined its partnerships targeting greater biodiversity, which noted how In partnership with Conservation International, the business has conducted a three-year 12 country analysis to produce country-specific insights to inform cocoa production and protect biodiverse ecosystems.

Another highlight of the report was its consideration for human rights – through collaborations with governments and non-profits such as Save the Children and CARE International, the company confirmed it is working to empower women and girls socially and economically, address child labour, increase access to safe and quality education. So far, its “Women for Change” programme, in collaboration with CARE, has reached over 77,000 members by the end of 2022, collectively saving over $7.4 million to reinvest in their businesses and families

Speaking about the company’s sustainability progress, Andrew Clarke Global President, Mars Wrigley noted in his foreword  to the feature: The “Cocoa for Generations” strategy represents our commitment to making a meaningful, long-lasting, and systemic difference for the cocoa farmers, their families and communities, and the environment we all rely on.

“We have committed a billion dollars over a period of 10 years (since 2018) to accelerate intervention and drive real change ensuring 100% of our cocoa is responsibly sourced1 and traceable to the first point of purchase by 2025. And we are proud to report a significant milestone reached in Europe, where, as of 2023, 100% of the cocoa we buy for our direct factory operations is verified as Responsibly Sourced. As our recently published Net Zero Roadmap highlights, enhancing transparency and traceability and scaling up initiatives in climate smart agriculture of key ingredients such as cocoa will be critical to deliver on our company’s ambition to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across our full value chain by 2050.”

Significantly, as the company added, as a further means of ensuring transparency and accountability under the responsibly sourced cocoa programme, the company said it is working in partnership with its suppliers to polygon map farm boundaries, assess risks, take preventive actions, and validate compliance through third-party verification. Today, as part of our journey towards our Responsible Cocoa ambition, we’re proud to say that 68% of the cocoa we purchase is certified, and third-party verified under established standards like the Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade, using the mass balance sourcing method.

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