76,000 farmers reap benefits of cocoa sustainability scheme

More than 76,000 farmers have seen a significant increase in their income and cocoa yield as result of a global sustainable sourcing programmme launched by the world's largest chocolate company.

Mondelez International – responsible for Cadbury, Kenco and Oreo – today (23 February) released the first progress report on its Cocoa Life sustainability programme, which will see it invest $400m over the next 10 years to fund sustainable cocoa production across the globe.

The report reveals that 76,700 farmers are now enrolled in the programme, which aims to empower 200,000 cocoa farmers and reach over one million community members by 2022. These farmers have seen their income triple, according to the update, while yield production has increased by 37% in these areas, compared to other controlled farming communities, Mondelez says.

Meanwhile, 21% of Mondelēz International’s cocoa was sustainably sourced as of the end of 2015 – the company aims to eventually source 100% of its cocoa from sustainably verified regions.

“I’m proud of our Cocoa Life programme and the transformative impact we are having on our cocoa supply chain and the communities we source cocoa from, as shown in this report,” said Mondelēz International’s president of global chocolate César Melo.

“Cocoa Life connects the beginning and end of the cocoa supply chain so farmers can see how their cocoa crop contributes to the chocolate we enjoy. As Cocoa Life grows and expands its reach, we will continue to be transparent about our measures for success and key learnings, and share the progress we are making against our goals.”

The Cocoa Life programme, which was introduced in 2012, aims to promote sustainability among Mondelēz International’s supply chain regions in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, India and Brazil. Côte d’Or and Marabou brands are now displaying the Cocoa Life logo life logo in recognition of the sustainably sourced cocoa. 

“This progress report brings together the voices of people in cocoa communities across all our origins and demonstrates how the programme is working together with local governments, our suppliers and partners to build lasting change on the ground,” said Cocoa Life programme director Cathy Pieters. “Cocoa Life integrates the work of our stakeholders to achieve common goals in ways that are relevant and tailored to Cocoa Life farming communities around the world.”

Operational targets

Mondelēz International increased its efforts on supply chain tracability and sustainability after reducing manufacturing waste by 46% – three times more than its target of 15% – from a 2012 baseline. Mondelez also reduced water usage by 11%, and plans to reach its 15% target, thanks to a partnership with water technology provider EcoLab.

Mondelez has also taken steps to improve the transparency in its reporting. A partnership with global certification body Flocert – the organisation which provides sole certification to Fairtrade – saw Mondelez develop its own tailor-made reporting system. The system, which has since been introduced to its Cocoa Life programme, aims to verify the quantity of sustainably-grown and traded cocoa that the company uses.

Matt Mace

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