Mars Wrigley to meet industry cocoa officials to discuss LID payments

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Mars Wrigley's Responsible Cocoa programme supports the LID. Pic: Mars Wrigley
Mars Wrigley's Responsible Cocoa programme supports the LID. Pic: Mars Wrigley

Related tags Mars wrigley confectionery Cocoa

Barry Parkin, the company's Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer, is set to meet with members of the cocoa industry and the governments of Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire this week to discuss the Living Income Differential (LID) and to underscore the company’s commitment to it.

Parkin will remind those at the meeting that Mars Wrigley has championed the LID with suppliers, chocolate manufacturers and retailers, pushed for financial transparency of its full payment to farmers and control of supply to prevent cocoa from moving into protected areas.

As a result, Mars Wrigley mandated that the LID is required in all its contracts for cocoa from Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. For the 20/21 crop season, we are sourcing over 165,000 MT through our Responsible Cocoa programme in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, supporting cocoa farmers with payments for the LID in excess of $65m​,” he said in a letter seen by ConfectioneryNews.

Timely intervention

Mars Wrigley’s public support of the LID is a timely intervention as falling cocoa farmgate prices as put pressure on the two West African countries to slash prices in order to compete after some buyers are reportedly seeking to avoid paying the LID​.

A company spokesperson told this publication that Mars Wrigley is committed to creating ‘a more modern, inclusive and sustainable cocoa supply chain for the next generations’.

Mars Wrigley became the first chocolate company in 2019, to publicly support the LID, a $400 per tonne levy set by the governments of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana to help alleviate farmer poverty.

Through our Cocoa for Generations strategy, ongoing support for the LID, and disclosure of our progress publicly, we remain focused on the critical issues that need to be addressed for cocoa farming families to thrive and be sustainable – most urgently, through support of the LID and supply chain transparency​,” the spokesperson said.

Most recently we have engaged in the current bilateral trade discussions between the EU and the governments of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire on sustainable cocoa, and will continue to be vocal in calling on others to do the same, particularly in the context of Covid​.”

Mars Wrigley said that for cocoa farmers to thrive, it will encourage all buyers of cocoa products and chocolate manufacturers to support the LID, invest in sustainability programmes to protect children and forests, and purchase responsible and sustainable cocoa.

The company said its Responsible Cocoa programme includes a call for levelling the playing field through appropriate legislation, standards, and industry coalitions so that other companies will do the same.

In Mars Wrigley’s Cocoa for Generations Report, Human Rights Report, and Cocoa and Forests Initiative 2020 annual report, it said it provides an update on its supply chain transparency efforts and the significant strides it is making.

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Gary, stop the lies

Posted by Fuad Mohammed,

Reference to the comment that government has bought your cocoa without paying.

It's a blatant lie that government buys cocoa directly from farmers in Ghana. Private companies are licensed and funded to buy cocoa from farmers at a margin. Cocobod provides complementary funding to these companies who are required to raise funding from commercial banks and other sources.

At present, Cocobod has settled outstanding monies on cocoa delivered by these private parties. Instead of spewing such lies, contact the private LBC you sold to and go for your money.

If you were a patriotic farmer, your comment should applaud Mars but further charge other Chocolate brands giants Nestle, Mondelez, Hershey etc to show more committed. It's through such advocacy that poor cocoa farmers can get a decent income for the efforts.

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J & G Plantation

Posted by Gary McKown,

While you are there ask the Ghana government why I haven't been paid for the 5 truck loads of cocoa beans they took from me on August 2020? I already sued once in July 2018 because they didn't pay me, and now still not paying me for the lawsuit and the August 2020 harvest. I have filed comments here before.
Gary McKown
Janet Kyeremaa
Business Owners of J&G Plantation since Feb 2018
100 acre cocoa farm
Japekrom Ghana

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