DEERFIELD, ILL. — Mondelez International said it has made significant progress in its sustainable cocoa sourcing efforts in the past year. In 2017, the company expanded its Cocoa Life sustainable sourcing program to reach 120,500 farmers, up 31% from 2016, in 1,085 communities, up 26%. The company has increased its sourcing of sustainable cocoa to 35%, up 14 percentage points from the year before. Additionally, the cocoa sourced through Cocoa Life was used in more products, including the full Cadbury Dairy Milk line in the United Kingdom and Ireland and Oreo cookies in Europe.
Launched in 2012, Cocoa Life empowers and improves the livelihoods of farmers in six key cocoa-growing regions, including Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Indonesia, India, the Dominican Republic and Brazil. The goal of the program is to reach 200,000 farmers and benefit more than a million people by 2022 and is part of Mondelez International’s larger commitment to sustainably source all of its cocoa supply.
“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 and government affairs officer at Mondelez International. “This year’s Cocoa Life Progress Report shares significant accomplishments in securing the future of cocoa and thus, the future of our beloved chocolate for our consumers. As we source more of our cocoa sustainably through Cocoa Life, we’re helping cocoa communities thrive.”
Achievements last year include training 88,134 farmers and distributing nearly 5.8 million cocoa seedlings to increase productivity and promote growth of higher quality cocoa; training nearly 68,200 community members on good environmental practices and distributing more than a million shade trees to conserve natural ecosystems; developing community action plans in more than 1,000 communities; establishing child protection committees in 516 communities; and providing financial assistance to nearly 52,000 community members.
“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 Ltd. “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 program, 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.”