Sustainabilty

Mars releases progress update on its ‘Responsible Cocoa Specification’

By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mars has provided a progress update on its ongoing Responsible Cocoa Specification, formed as part of its Cocoa for Generations strategy three years ago. Pic: Mars
Mars has provided a progress update on its ongoing Responsible Cocoa Specification, formed as part of its Cocoa for Generations strategy three years ago. Pic: Mars

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As part of its Cocoa for Generations strategy that was launched three years ago, confectionery giant Mars has released a latest update on its sustainability efforts in West Africa.

Last year Mars publicly shared an interactive map on the Open Sourcemap platform​ showing the names, locations and total number of farmers in each farmer group from which they sourced cocoa.

With the goal of creating a 100% deforestation-free supply chain for the cocoa Mars sources by 2025, it has committed to updating its map annually for increased transparency.

Through its sustainability programme, Mars said it is focused on three main areas that put cocoa farmers, farming communities and the environment at the centre of its efforts: Protect Children, Preserve Forests, and Improve Farmer Incomes.

In its latest report​ Mars said: “Our Responsible Cocoa Specification builds on existing certification requirements from Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance and requires additional elements including the specific locations and boundaries for all farms, child labour monitoring and remediation systems in at risk areas, and an overhaul of premiums so that farmers receive a higher share​”.

Child labour

Mars also said it also condemns the use of forced and hazardous child labour and is committed to working with governments, suppliers, farming communities and others to eradicate it from cocoa supply chains.

The company admitted that “hazardous child labour is a reality in today’s cocoa supply chain, but through implementing monitoring and remediation systems, instances can be dramatically reduced​”.

Early indications show that implementing robust child labour monitoring and remediation systems (CLMRS) has proven to have the potential to meaningfully reduce the risks, prevalence and severity of child labour, “and it’s a model we expect all suppliers to have in place in West Africa by 2025​,” the company said.

Mars revealed that it anticipates that in order to achieve its Cocoa for Generation ambition by 2025, at least 180,000 cocoa farming households will need to be reached with an estimated 540,000 children in four West African origins (Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Nigeria).

The company also pledged to “take action in other origin countries as appropriate​”. 

Regarding Mars’s human rights policy, more information can be found in a separate report: Respecting Human Rights in the Cocoa Supply Chain Report​.

Mars said it has also committed to making all its cocoa traceable and deforestation-free, and improving farmer income by introducing a system that ensures a higher amount of the money paid through premiums reaches the farmers. “Transparency is key to making this a reality​,” Mars said.

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1 comment

wrong photo for the article

Posted by Josephine Ramos,

Hi, it seems that the photo shown is coffee cherries, not cacao..the article is about cacao, isn't it?

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