Mars Chocolate and The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Indonesia to enhance the quality and reach of its cocoa sustainability initiative.
Mars has served as one of the founding members of the Cocoa Sustainability partnership, which was established in 2005. With collaboration from key industry leaders such as Swisscontact, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, University Hassanudin and others, Mars has pledged to work with local farmers to help improve cocoa sustainability through farmer certification, economic and environmental initiatives, and social responsibility.
The MoU begins the second round of IDH CPQP (Cocoa Production Quality Program) for 2012 to 2015. The MoU builds upon Mars’ established successful cocoa sustainability program in Indonesia that has existed for more than fifteen years. The partnership between Mars Indonesia and IDH will increase the sustainability of the cocoa farming system and help farmers enhance their businesses. Over the specified time period, the program will reach more than10,000 farmers and up to 40 established farmer organizations.
Additionally, the continued collaboration between Mars Indonesia and IDH will increase awareness and adoption of new agricultural advances, especially in regards to farm yields and quality, post-harvest practices, responsible use of farm agrichemicals, wildlife and water conservation and waste management. Through matching funds provided to cocoa farmer organizations, this phase of the IDH CPQP scales up and strengthens the well-established sustainability program to engage a broader base of farmers in long term sustainable cocoa production.
In addition, the project helps to indentify new ways to build the capacity of farmers so that they can hold sustainable certifications. With this independence, Mars and other key industry leaders will be able to more rapidly reach their goal of using only sustainable cocoa in 100 percent of their products.
The implementation of this program will build upon the pre-existing partnership that both organizations currently have in place and will extend the reach of the IDH’s CPQP, which has established initiatives in communities in Africa. With the addition of global farmer communities, such as those in Indonesia, Mars continues its commitment to promoting sustainable cocoa production and farmer certification worldwide.