Mondelēz International has followed up its promise on deforestation and announced ambitious and industry-leading plans to protect and restore forests in the company’s two largest cocoa-sourcing markets, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, as well as its third largest in Indonesia.
The news follows an announcement earlier this week by the World Cocoa Foundation on joint action plans for the two West African to restore forest areas as part of commitments under the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI).
As a founding member of the CFI, the company's action plans align closely to its three focus areas of Forest Protection & Restoration, Sustainable Production & Farmers' Livelihoods and Social Inclusion & Community Engagement, and feature the following commitments through its Cocoa Life program:
- We are one of the first chocolate companies to commit to map 100% of the farms in our Cocoa Life program in key origins by end of 2019 to ensure that farmers are not operating in forested land. We’ve already mapped 70% of these farms, using Global Forest Watch to assess the risk of tree loss.
- We’re the first organization to introduce incentives in the form of Payment for Environmental Services (PES) agreements to a cocoa-farming context, encouraging farmers to protect and restore forests. We aim to have agreements with 33,000 farmers by 2022.
- We know that deforestation can’t be addressed through cocoa farmers alone, so we involve the whole community. By 2022, nearly 1,300 cocoa communities will have active forest restoration and protection programs through Cocoa Life.
“Our plans to combat deforestation in cocoa include a commitment to map 100% of the farms that supply Mondelēz International’s Cocoa Life program by the end of 2019,” said Cedric van Cutsem, associate director, operations, Cocoa Life. “Mapping and monitoring farms will give us a deeper understanding of farmers’ needs so we can help drive effective change. In addition, our plans include financial incentives that will encourage farmers and communities to protect and renew forest areas.”
Mondelēz was the first company to raise the issue of deforestation in the cocoa industry at the COP21 summit in Paris in 2015 and the first chocolate maker to sign Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
Its commitment to sustainably-produced cocoa reflects the company’s purpose to empower people to snack right. “As one of the world’s largest chocolate makers, the company has been using its scale to drive change in the cocoa supply chain for many years and launched its 10-year, $400 million Cocoa Life program in 2012 with the aim to reach more than 200,000 farmers across six countries.”
Alain-Richard Donwahi, Minister of Forests and Water Resources, Côte d’Ivoire, said. “Mondelēz International is a key partner in the Cocoa & Forests Initiative in Côte d’Ivoire. Their action plan is in full compliance with the strategy of preservation, rehabilitation and scaling up adopted by the government in January 2019. I am impressed by their continued commitment to protecting and restoring forests, as demonstrated by this action plan. Together, we hope to create a dynamic and solid cocoa supply chain while transforming the livelihoods of farmers and their communities."