Mars Chocolate announced today that it is donating $100,000 as part of an industry-wide effort to help fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is organizing an effort among cocoa and chocolate companies who are interested in providing medical and humanitarian aid to those countries impacted by the Ebola virus outbreak.
“As an industry, we care very deeply about the well-being of cocoa growing communities across West Africa,” said Jean‐Christophe Flatin, Global President of Mars Chocolate. “Mars Chocolate is a Principles-based, family-owned company. Because of those principles, we have made a commitment to help communities that have faced some very serious challenges, as West Africa is today. We are pleased to be a part of this industry-wide effort to help people in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria receive the aid and support they need.”
The WCF will distribute 100 percent of the donated funds to support two non-governmental organizations who are currently working in West Africa, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) and Caritas. The IFRC has experience working in West Africa, and an excellent track record in prevention and treatment of those suffering from the Ebola virus. In Liberia, Caritas has been working to educate thousands of individuals, to distribute hygiene material, and to provide food support.
In 2009, Mars Chocolate committed to buying 100 percent certified sustainable cocoa by 2020 and continues to make major investments in cocoa research and technology transfer to farmers while also advocating for greater industry collaboration. As part of this effort, Mars Chocolate has developed the Vision for Change program in Côte d’Ivoire, which is working to increase farmer productivity and empower cocoa communities. In May 2014, Mars Chocolate announced its support for the Cocoa Action strategy, the cocoa sector’s most ambitious and comprehensive plan to work together to rejuvenate and sustain the cocoa economy in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.