By Stephen Nakrosis
Mondelez International Inc. said it would increase its investments in the Cocoa Life program, which aims, among other things, to secure the supply of sustainable cocoa.
The company also called for “more effort and industry-wide action to achieve greater impact, including new public-private partnerships, as we aim to catalyze innovative collaboration to help make advancing cocoa together,” said Dirk Van de Put, Mondelez’ president and CEO.
The company said it would donate an additional $600 million to Cocoa Life through 2030, for a total investment of $1 billion since the program began.
In addition to ensuring a sustainable cocoa supply, Mondelez said the program aims to “address the root causes of systemic cocoa problems, including agricultural productivity, farmer livelihoods, community development and the fight against child labor and deforestation”.
Currently, more than 200,000 farmers are participating in the program, Mondelez said.
Ten years after the program began, farmers’ net incomes have increased by 15% in Ghana and 33% in Côte d’Ivoire, Mondelez said. The company also said that “cocoa yields are higher, with double-digit percentage increases among farmers earning a living income.”
In West Africa, 61% of Cocoa Life communities are covered by child labor monitoring and remediation systems, Mondelez said, adding that he aims to reach 100% by 2025.
The company said lessons learned from the previous ten years – including a focus on enabling farmers to increase their incomes and accelerating innovation in cocoa production – will help it accelerate its Cocoa program. Life.
The program’s focus areas include farmer income, child protection and education, and “helping to strengthen deforestation monitoring systems, promoting agroforestry, and promoting forest conservation.” “, Mondelez said.
Christine Montenegro McGrath, Head of Corporate Impact and Sustainability, said “we are passionate about contributing to lasting change across the cocoa sector and we are doubling down on the integrated approach of Cocoa Life as we know only a long-term, industry-wide strategy, supported by action by all industry players, producer and consumer governments, and civil society, will have a lasting impact. .”
Write to Stephen Nakrosis at [email protected]