Mondelēz International has announced it is expanding its self-certification Cocoa Life sustainability program to include popular brands Toblerone and Lacta.
The announcement was made during today’s release of the company’s Cocoa Life’s 2018 Annual Report, the first-ever large-scale impact report in the cocoa industry, which Mondelēz claims shows encouraging results from the first six years of the program.
“Cocoa Life helps to create a thriving cocoa supply chain by increasing yields on existing farms, building resilience in cocoa-growing communities and preventing deforestation,” the company said in its report.
“Cocoa Life works with over 142,000 farmers to grow more cocoa on their farms, empowers more than 1,400 communities to drive their own development and scaled up sourcing to cover 43% of the company’s chocolate made today."
The company said 43% of its chocolate brands source cocoa through Cocoa Life. By 2025, international brands and local favorites including Toblerone and Lacta will join Milka, Côte D’Or and Cadbury Dairy Milk in sourcing exclusively through the program.
Mondelēz says the expansion will see an increase in the number of farmers and communities it supports across six cocoa origin countries: Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, India and Brazil.
“Our purpose at Mondelēz International is to empower people to snack right and that journey begins with the ingredients we source, including cocoa,” said chairman and chief executive officer Dirk Van de Put. “As demand for chocolate continues to grow, we are leading the transformation to build a thriving cocoa sector, an ingredient essential to our growth. This is an important milestone for our Cocoa Life program and will ensure more consumers around the world can be confident that the chocolate brands they love are made the right way.”
Guided by results, the program will refine its focus to key areas of intervention where the biggest impact can be made: cocoa farming as a prosperous business of choice; empowered and inclusive communities that drive their own development; and conservation and restoration of forests enabling climate-resilient practices, the report stated.
“The expansion of Cocoa Life moves Mondelēz International a step closer to improving the positive impact the company has on people and the planet,” Van de Put said. “Through Cocoa Life, we are leading the way in the fight against climate change in the cocoa sector and playing an active role in securing sustainable supplies of key raw materials. “
When the program launched in 2012, Mondelēz committed $400m to Cocoa Life over 10 years to help build a thriving cocoa supply chain by increasing cocoa productivity and empowering local cocoa farming communities to improve their resilience.
The program has since developed, and Mondelēz says it now works directly with cocoa farmers and communities to transform their livelihoods through a focus on skills, education and access to essential resources such as planting materials and crop protection.
“Success will not be found by acting alone, and this is why we are building a movement for lasting change and scaling our holistic approach through productive, collaborative partnerships,” Van de Put added. “We hope our encouraging results inspire more industry members to implement integrated approaches and broaden their impact at scale.”
Cocoa Life’s progress to date
- Cocoa yields are continuously improving and results show that, as cocoa farms become more efficient, their yield increases. This is an important development, as farms that can do more with less land are able to create spare land that can be used for other income-generating activities, helping make cocoa farming a prosperous business.
- More communities are steering their own development and Cocoa Life communities can become drivers of change. Through the use of planning and advocacy tools, these communities have been able to attract the funding and resources needed to develop — an important step because sector change will only be sustained if local actors feel empowered to do so.
- Farmers are choosing not to expand into protected forests and encouraging and enabling cocoa farmers and communities to protect the land where cocoa is grown has been fundamental to the Cocoa Life approach. Mapping efforts and tools support farmers in understanding how to get more out of their farms – helping them build better businesses.