Mondelez Announces $600 Million Investment in Sustainable Cocoa Sourcing

Published on: 26 October 2022
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Mondelez International announced the next phase of its Cocoa Life programme, backed by an additional $600 million through 2030, for a total investment of $1 billion since the programme's launch, to boost cocoa volume at scale and collaborate with approximately 300,000 farmers by 2030.

Mondelez International plans to use this investment to start a new way for the private sector to work together to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and address systemic issues like the environment and human rights.

Dirk Van de Put, Chairman & CEO Mondelēz International, said: 

"As one of the world’s leading snacking companies, it is a priority to continue making our most important ingredients, such as cocoa, right, and Cocoa Life sits at the heart of this strategy. While we are excited about the promise of our investments, we are calling for more sector-wide effort and actions to drive greater impact, including new private-public partnerships, as we aim to catalyse ground-breaking collaboration to help move cocoa forward together.”

Mondelez International launched Cocoa Life in 2012 to secure a more sustainable supply of cocoa and to establish an integrated approach to addressing the root causes of systemic issues in cocoa, such as farm productivity, farmer livelihoods, community development, and combating child labour and deforestation, all in one programme. After ten years, the initiative has reached a critical scale, with more than 200,000 farmers signed up, $400 million invested by the end of 2022, and measurable results like:

  • Farmer net incomes have increased ~15% in Ghana and ~33% in Cote d’Ivoire

  • Cocoa yields are higher, with double-digit percentage increases in farmers earning a living income

  • 61% of Cocoa Life communities in West Africa are covered with Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems, to reach 100% by 2025

As more work remains to be done, key lessons learned over the last decade will allow Mondelez International to accelerate the Cocoa Life programme and go further, faster. These lessons include using an integrated approach to deliver impact at a scale appropriate for the farmer, community, and landscape; focusing on enabling farmers to increase their income, and accelerating innovation in cocoa production through incentives designed to professionalise smallholder cocoa farming and introduce climate-resilient new production models.

Cocoa Life seeks to increase the number of agricultural households earning a living wage by 2030, improve child protection systems and access to excellent education in Cocoa Life communities, and achieve zero deforestation on Cocoa Life fields globally. Among the programme's focus areas will be:

Farmer Income: Working collaboratively to develop a mechanism that supports a decent price for farmers and working with women groups to help develop additional business opportunities.

Child Protection & Education: Continuing to scale up Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems and actively engaging in public-private partnerships work towards improving quality education.

No Deforestation: Contributing to the strengthening of deforestation monitoring systems, promoting agroforestry, and making forest conservation more appealing.

Christine Montenegro McGrath, Senior Vice President and Chief Impact and Sustainability Officer, Mondelēz International, said: 

"As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Cocoa Life, we are excited to announce the next phase. While progress and impact have been made, cocoa farmers and their communities are still facing big challenges. We are passionate about helping to drive lasting change across the whole cocoa sector and are doubling down on Cocoa Life’s integrated approach because we know only a sector-wide long-term strategy, supported by action by all industry players, producing and consuming governments and civil society, will lead to lasting impact.”

With sustainability now one of the four pillars of the company's long-term growth strategy aimed at creating long-term value for the business and its stakeholders along the value chain, this investment builds on key lessons learned from Cocoa Life's integrated approach and ten years of measurable impact results while aiming to accelerate impact at scale in cocoa.

Source: Globe Newswire

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