Author Archives: Andrew Harner

Mars Chocolate and Oxfam America Agree to Intentional Approach to Empower Women in Cocoa Growing Communities

Mars Chocolate strongly believes that empowering women is critical to making sure that cocoa is sustainable. In our Vision for Change program in Cote d’Ivoire, we’ve worked with women who are leaders in their communities to help develop plans that will improve their lives and the lives of their families and neighbors.

So we are pleased to announce an agreement we’ve reached with Oxfam

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The Role of Women in Making Cocoa Sustainable

We appreciate the recent attention that Oxfam International is giving towards cocoa farmers and the communities they live in.  As we are working comprehensively to help farmers and their families achieve better wages and more opportunities, we welcome the consideration from organizations also interested in the welfare of farmers and their communities.  We are looking forward to strengthening our approach involving women in the

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2012 Cocoa Barometer Calls the Industry to Action on Cocoa Sustainability

The Cocoa Barometer 2012 is out and it provides yet another snap shot into the urgency we must have as a sector to establish sustainable cocoa as the standard.  The barometer is a joint initiative by several NGOs, and it provides an overview of the current sustainability efforts within the industry.  This year’s barometer looked at initiatives in West Africa.

The barometer identifies some

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From Côte d’Ivoire – World Cocoa Conference and More

Last week, we had the pleasure of attending the World Cocoa Conference in Abidjan, where Barry Parkin, our Global Procurement and Sustainability Head, gave a keynote address to the main session.

While at the conference, we also had the opportunity to meet with several of our industry peers, and at the end of the week, we signed the “Abidjan Declaration” to confirm our support

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Creating a sustainable cocoa industry for farmers will require billions in investments

Today, Mars Inc. released its 2nd annual Principles in Action summary, which details the company’s approach to business and Mar’s commitment to put its Five Principles into action.  As part of the summary, we are highlighting our Sustainable Cocoa Initiative.

As readers of this blog know, creating a sustainable cocoa sector that can meet the chocolate industry’s long-term demand for cocoa, the

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Shared Value in Côte D’Ivoire: Creating a Vibrant Cocoa Sector

A few years ago, Mars was faced with the idea that we needed another Côte d’Ivoire to produce enough cocoa to meet the world’s growing chocolate demand by 2020. Given that cocoa was becoming a less attractive crop for farmers, and that Côte d’Ivoire was in a cycle of decline, we knew we needed a strategy for cocoa sustainability. As a company that’s always

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Mars Meets our 2011 Certification Goal

As you may have seen, we announced today that Mars Chocolate met its 2011 benchmark of purchasing 10 percent certified sustainable cocoa – or approximately  30,000 tons – as part of its total supply.  In two short years, we have made dramatic progress towards reaching our ultimate goal of purchasing 100% of our cocoa from certified sustainable sources by 2020.

Mars Chocolate has set

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Mars Chocolate at Secretary Clinton’s Global Impact Economy Forum

Last Thursday, I was invited to speak at Secretary Clinton’s Global Impact Economy Forum, a gathering of 250 high-level investors, business executives, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, academics, and policymakers, in Washington, DC.  It was a great honor to have the work of the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative highlighted by the State Department and I was pleased to represent Mars Chocolate at the event.

The forum featured

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Cocoa advances in Cote d’Ivoire

Having just returned from a trip to Cote d’Ivoire to check in on our sustainability efforts there, I’m struck by the difference from my last visit. I was last in Cote d’Ivoire in 2010 when we signed the Memorandum of Understanding (click MoU to read the memorandum and here to watch the ceremony), just before a period of great political uncertainty.  Cote d’Ivoire is

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The Future of Certification: Farmers Must Come First

Last Thursday, SustainAbility published a study to consider the future of certification systems. The study, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, was supported by Mars (along with many other companies) and found:

[…] there is a need to deconstruct and evolve the old model that combines standards, certification and on-pack marks. Instead we urge a shift towards a new model based upon increasingly demanding and pre-competitive

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