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Mars Chocolate’s Plan to Empower Women in Cocoa Communities

Last December, Mars Chocolate released an expert third party assessment of gender and women’s empowerment within the western region of Côte d’Ivoire where we are pursuing a large cocoa development program.  As we noted then, we developed a gender outreach plan and are beginning implementation of the recommendations this year.  We look forward to reporting on our progress.

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Returning to Chocovision

In 2012, Barry Parkin, Mars Inc.’s Chief Sustainability Officer and Chairman of the World Cocoa Foundation, spoke at the Chocovision conference about the need for a sector-wide engagement on sustainability.  He will be returning to Chocovision this year, and he offered his reflections of the past two years at their blog:

Two years ago, at the CHOCOVISION conference, I had the opportunity to talk

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VIDEO: Mars Global Chocolate Supports CocoaAction

See senior Mars associates discuss why we are supporting the CocoaAction strategy in this new video:

 

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An important moment for the cocoa industry at Petit Bondoukou

SLC visit to Petit Bondoukou 1

Holding my camera by the side road and shooting videos of the arrival at the stop of Petit Bondoukou of the cars of from the Cocoa Action delegation, I told to myself that I am a real privileged guy in being a part of this important cocoa industry event being held in Côte d’Ivoire. Wow, all the “big names” of the cocoa Industry (chocolate manufacturers) … Read more

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Mars Chocolate Supports World Cocoa Foundation’s CocoaAction Strategy Supporting African Farmers

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Mars Chocolate supports the cocoa sector’s most ambitious and comprehensive plan to work together to rejuvenate and sustain the cocoa economy, the company announced today. Called “CocoaAction” and created under the auspices of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), the strategy is focused on specific, collaborative measures to increase productivity and support community development for no fewer than 300,000 West African farmers by 2020. To accomplish … Read more

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Barry Parkin Named Chairman of World Cocoa Foundation Board of Directors

The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) has named Chief Sustainability Officer Barry Parkin as its new Board of Directors chairman.   The international membership organization represents more than 100 member companies across the cocoa value chain, all committed to creating a sustainable cocoa economy by putting farmers first.  The group promotes agricultural and environmental stewardship and strengthening development in cocoa-growing communities.

“We are grateful to Barry Parkin … Read more

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ICYMI: Mars mentioned in the Financial Times

A few weeks ago, Mark Kramer of FSG mentioned Mars’s work in an opinion column he wrote for the Financial Times.  The column focuses on creating shared value between businesses and societies, and how business schools should work with MBA students to develop that focus. It mentions Mars’s work in cocoa sustainability as one example:

“Mars is helping to lead a public-private coalition to … Read more

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A Visit to Petit Bondoukou

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We recently returned from a visit to the village of Petit Bondoukou in Côte d’Ivoire, where the program is already reaching that community.  Below are a few pictures from that trip, where we visited a school and met with Joel Yao, an operator of one of the newly-opened Cocoa Village Centers (CVCs) that are so critical to our efforts there.  You’ll be hearing more about … Read more

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Virginia Business Magazine Profiles the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative

This month, Virginia Business Magazine took an in-depth look at the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative, and why the efforts being made across the industry to secure the future of cocoa are so important.  The article quotes Alex Morgan, senior manager of sustainable agriculture for the Rainforest Alliance:, “Mars’ initial commitment five years ago certainly changed the dynamic in the industry…  Prior to that, it was really … Read more

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Improving Community Development Practices

Capitalization workshop - Soubré

As part of its Vision for Change program, Mars has been supporting Community-driven development activities in the Soubré region of western Côte d’Ivoire since 2011.  For some communities involved since the beginning, it is time to take stock of the activity.

Since the beginning of 2014, members of the ICRAF (International Center for Research on Agroforestry) implementation team have been conducting “capitalization” meetings with representatives … Read more

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