Author Archives: Martin Gilmour

Martin Gilmour

Martin Gilmour is the Cocoa Sustainability Director of Research and Development for Mars Chocolate. In this capacity, Gilmour manages research programs in productivity, which include Integrated Pest Management, physiology, climate change, nutrient management, and breeding. Genetic resources and quality and food safety issues in the cocoa supply chain also fall within Gilmour’s field of expertise. Gilmour is also involved in external cocoa research programs such as World Cocoa Foundation, ICCO, Caobisco and CRA, where he represents Mars.

Vision For Change Agroforestry Workshop

ICRAF workshop

The goal of the Vision for Change project to revitalize the cocoa sector in Soubré and across Côte d’Ivoire – so that it can result in well-trained cocoa producers, higher yields and a cocoa economy that benefits the entire community.

One major component of the project is to develop and disseminate sustainable management options for cocoa rehabilitation, including cocoa farm diversification. Farmers who rely

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Vision For Change Tackles Cocoa Bean Quality

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The Mars/ICRAF Vision For Change project aims to achieve several important goals when it comes to sustainable cocoa.  We are working to not only revitalize cocoa farms around Soubré and across Côte d’Ivoire to enable higher yields, but we’re also working to improve the quality of cocoa being produced.

It’s not enough to simply produce more cocoa – it has to be of a

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Genetic Diversity and Cocoa Research in Trinidad

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Mars Chocolate, World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and the University of Reading recently concluded a rewarding research review trip to the Cocoa Research Unit of University of the West Indies in Trinidad.

Trinidad, once the third largest cocoa producing country in the world, is now a smaller cocoa producer. The island is home to the International Cocoa Genebank (ICG,T), a living collection of almost 3,000

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Improving Management of Cocoa Pod Borer- A regional workshop organized by Mars, ICCRI, ACIAR and WCF

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Demand for cocoa is soaring around the world – growing 2 to 3 percent each year. Perhaps nowhere is that growth stronger than in Asia, particularly in China and India.  Given the demand, the ability to grow cocoa locally in the South East Asia region is especially important.

One of the keys to improved yield and quality over the short-term in South East Asia

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Mars Chocolate and ICRAF Workshop on Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus

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Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus (CSSV) has wreaked havoc on cocoa crops throughout  much of West Africa and continues to inflict serious economic and human hardship in cocoa-growing countries.  As part of our research and collaborative efforts to better manage and combat this disease, Mars Chocolate and ICRAF recently held a regional workshop on CSSV in Accra, Ghana.

The weeklong workshop brought together more than

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Cocoa Soils and Fertilizer Workshop

Team members at the fertilizer workshop

Every now and then in cocoa sustainability work it’s very useful to take stock of where we are on a particular topic, share ideas and put experts together.  At the end of last year we did this for the areas of cocoa soils and use of fertilizer in cocoa production. We started work on our Vision For Change program in Ivory Coast and have

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Cocoa Productivity and Quality Improvement

With cocoa demand up, yields down and a shortage of new land to farm, cocoa research is critical to improving African, Asian and S. American cocoa farmer livelihoods through higher-quality and more productive crops.

My team and I recently participated in and helped fund a significant global research initiative that spanned multiple continents. The effort involved a dozen participating countries, industry leaders like us,

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Champion Ghanaian Farmer visits M&M’S World London

 

When the London M&MS® World store hosted a champion Ghanaian cocoa farmer, both ends of the supply chain met for a successful connection.

Samuel Awuni stood in the middle of London’s M&M’S® World store—nearly 4,200 miles from the fields of his Ghana cocoa farm—in complete awe.  Surrounded by shoppers reveling in five stories of brightly colored candies and merchandise, Samuel had

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CacaoNet meeting on cocoa genetic resources

Cocoa genetic resources are kind of taken for granted in the cocoa world. Genetic resources include the wild, uncultivated, and uncollected varieties of cocoa still growing in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins, the original home of cocoa as well as the large collections of cocoa varieties which have been collected and are maintained in Trinidad (ICG,T) and Costa Rica (CATIE). These relatively uncharacterised

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Cocoa Fermentation II

Cocoa (Cacao) fermentation is critical to develop the precursors for cocoa flavour, brought out when the beans are roasted. Duing the process, there is lots of microbial activity, the pulp surrounding the beans drains away, acid is generated, the fermentation heap gets warm and the cocoa beans begin to germinate but are stopped by the acidity and heat. Fermented beans are no longer viable

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