Mondelēz doubles down on Cocoa Life programme to help 300,000 farmers by 2030

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Mondelēz said its goal is to increase scale and work with 300,000 farmers by 2030. Pic: Mondelēz  International
Mondelēz said its goal is to increase scale and work with 300,000 farmers by 2030. Pic: Mondelēz International

Related tags Mondelez International Cocoa Sustainability Chocolate

Mondelēz International has announced the next phase of its Cocoa Life programme will be backed by an additional $600 million - bringing its total investment to $1 billion by end of the decade.

The confectionery and snack giant said the goal is to increase cocoa volume at scale and work with approximately 300,000 farmers in the programme by 2030.

The investment will go towards catalysing ground-breaking sector collaboration to help address systemic environmental and human rights challenges and improve cocoa farmer livelihoods.

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​,” said Dirk Van de Put, Chairman & CEO, Mondelēz International.

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 catalyze ground-breaking collaboration to help move cocoa forward together​.”

Mondelēz introduced Cocoa Life in 2012 to secure supply of more sustainable cocoa and establish an integrated approach striving to tackle the root causes of systemic issues in cocoa including farm productivity, farmer livelihoods, community development, and helping combat child labour and deforestation, together in one programme.

Ten years on, the programme claims to have reached critical scale with over 200,000 farmers in the programme, $400 million invested by the end of 2022 and measurable impact results including:

•           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 covered with Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems, with a goal to reach 100% by 2025

•           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 working towards improving quality education.

•           No Deforestation: Helping to strengthen deforestation monitoring systems, promote agroforestry and make forest conservation more attractive.

Key lessons

Mondelez said key lessons from the past 10 years will accelerate the Cocoa Life programme and go further, faster, ‘as more work remains to be done’.

These learnings include applying an integrated approach to help deliver impact at scale suited to the farmer, community, and landscape; focusing on enabling farmers to increase their income; and accelerating innovation in cocoa production supported by incentives designed to professionalize smallholder cocoa farming and introduce climate-resilient, new producing models.

As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Cocoa Life, we are excited to announce the next phase​,” said Christine Montenegro McGrath, Senior Vice President and Chief Impact and Sustainability Officer, Mondelēz International. “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​.”

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