Author Archives: Peter van Grinsven

Peter van Grinsven

Peter van Grinsven is the Cocoa Sustainability Director of the Operations and Origins department. In this role, van Grinsven’s responsibilities are to understand the cocoa value chain from the farming system to shipping and evaluate whether cocoa farming systems are sustainable. In the case that the systems are not sustainable, van Grinsven works, together with his colleagues, to find the solutions available to particular challenges, and which institutional structures are needed to deliver services or goods to farmers. Furthermore, van Grinsven and his team identify appropriate partners to help them scale up relevant activities to reach as many farmers as possible.
Peter has spent an impressive 25 years working in cocoa farm systems, mostly in West Africa and Asia, and through this work has developed a vast knowledge of the crop and the cultural environments where they are grow.

Part II: Getting fertilizer to farmers!

Part II

It’s been an unusual task for a chocolate company to help develop a new formulation fertilizer and engage with fertilizer and financial institutes for the production, import and credit mechanisms for the sale of high quality fertilizer. And we still have a long way to go before we will habitually replenish the nutrients we export as cocoa beans from cocoa plantations. But

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Part 1: Getting Fertilizer to Farmers

Part 1

The need for fertilizers

For many years, we have known that soil fertility and fertilizer are necessary to cultivate cocoa farms for high yield and long term farm viability and sustainability. And when in 2010, we developed the “package of interventions” for farmers that will turn cocoa farms from places that are low income with no future to thriving and sustainable farming

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Filming “For the Love of Chocolate”

CS blog documentary 01-08-13

I like to think of myself as unmovable by all sorts of hype and media events, but I’m now feeling the excitement of our next step in our campaign “ For the love of chocolate,” which we have developed together with our partners at Solidaridad.

It all started in early September with National Geographic, who wanted to make a documentary around the threat of

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Meeting Princess Máxima

After weeks of travel, I only started checking my agenda a few days prior to a scheduled group meeting with Princess Máxima, the wife of Crown Prince Willem Alexander of the Netherlands, at a congress organized by the Sustainable Trade Initiative.  I was honored to have the opportunity to meet her but I assumed that it would be no more than a hand shake

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New Fertilizer Blend Arrives in the Famous Cocoa Belt of Soubre

Fertilizer

Cocoa producing regions throughout Côte d’Ivoire are battling declining yields and increased tree mortality, but affordable fertilizer production and distribution is one of the most effective tools to help reverse this trend.  And we’re excited to announce that the first shipment of a new fertilizer blend recently arrived in the famous cocoa belt of Soubre, a region where local farmers have been struggling to

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Cocoa Development Centers Take Off – ECOM becomes first supply chain partner to build CDC in Cote d’Ivoire

The effort to ensure that cocoa farmers can be more productive through training – to make sure they can learn about sophisticated farming practices and then utilize them on their own farms – is essential to Mars Chocolate’s sustainability efforts.  “Technology transfer” is a simple concept, but in practice, takes a lot of creative thinking and leadership from those in the industry who have

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Cocoa Development Centers in Vietnam – A Mars Signature Program to Support Farmers

Mars senior managers visit a cocoa farm in Vietnam Highlands

Hanoi, March 28th 2011: an innovative Public-Private Partnership Vietnam Networking Dinner was announced to support Vietnam in its’ development as a successful cocoa producing country. During a network dinner in the presence of HRH the Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his spouse Maxima, a Letter of Intent was signed for a partnership between the Dutch and Vietnamese ministries of Agriculture, Rabobank,

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