Author Archives: wareclau

Laura Wareck

Virginia Business Magazine Profiles the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative

This month, Virginia Business Magazine took an in-depth look at the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative, and why the efforts being made across the industry to secure the future of cocoa are so important.  The article quotes Alex Morgan, senior manager of sustainable agriculture for the Rainforest Alliance:, “Mars’ initial commitment five years ago certainly changed the dynamic in the industry…  Prior to that, it was

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MAP Quest: Gathering Success Stories on the Road in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire

Blaine DeLuca, supply chain manager for Mars North America, recently contributed his video skills to a unique Mars Ambassador Program assignment that took him along hundreds of miles of dirt trails and into remote towns and villages in Africa’s Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. His goal was to videotape compelling first-person testimonials that would help to expand awareness and support for the International Cocoa Initiative

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Cocoa Sustainability Discussed at the UN Global Compact’s Leaders Summit

A few weeks ago, Barry Parkin spoke at the UN Global Compact’s Leaders Summit in New York City.  The triennial summit brings together high‐level ministers from different countries, CEOs, and executives from civil society. This year, the theme was Architects of A Better World and it focused on engaging the business world with the agenda of the United Nations.

In addition to discussing cocoa

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Professor David Zilberman: On Life and Cocoa in the Ivory Coast

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David Zilberman, a professor of agriculture and resource economics at University of California Berkeley, recently visited Côte d’Ivoire and shared her perspective on his blog.  He has agreed to allow us to repost it here, but you can also find it at the Berkeley Blog:

This week I returned from my fourth trip to Africa, this time to the Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire,

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Cacao’s Genetic Diversity

Martin Gilmour, Cocoa Sustainability Research Director of Mars Chocolate, co-authored an Executive Perspective at Thomson Reuters with Stephan Weise, Deputy Director General Research of Bioversity International about the importance of genetic diversity in cocoa as a part of cocoa sustainability.  The article discusses why the genetic diversity of cacao is essential part of farmer productivity:

90% of the global supply of cocoa comes from

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Candy & Snack Today looks at Cocoa Sustainability Initiatives

Andy Harner and trainee, Cote d'Ivoire Dec. 2011

In case you missed it, Candy & Snack Today’s July/August issue featured a long special report on cocoa sustainability initiatives across the sector.  Along with other industry efforts, Mars’ Sustainable Cocoa Initiative was mentioned quite prominently.  Quoted in the piece was Andrew Harner, Global Cocoa Vice President, who summed up the challenges by saying, “we know that demand for cocoa has gone up by

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Video Vignette: Healthcare and Traditional Medicine

For cocoa farmers who spend long hours laboring at their farms, dealing with injuries is a part of the job. In this video vignette, Bamba Gohou Aissata and Ouattara Mariam discuss how farmers in the Village of Kragui cope with the healthcare challenges posed by living in a small farming community without many healthcare options or easy access to major hospitals.

Since road

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Mars Video Vignette: Education in Soubré

There’s much work to be done to improve the education system in Côte d’Ivoire. In the video vignette below, cocoa farmer Ambofe Eric Didier discusses some of the obstacles that make it difficult for families to provide their kids with a proper education. Schools are far away, requiring kids to trek several kilometers multiple times a day to and from school, and they lack

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Mars Video Vignette: Labor and Profit

In this video vignette, Kouamé Kouassi gives us an inside look at how labor is divided and wages managed on his farm at Petit Bouaké. On a cocoa farm, everything is done collaboratively; it has to be in order to maximize efficiency.

You’ll hear Kouamé discuss what it’s like to own a farm where three of his brothers also work and how he compensates

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Mars Video Vignette: Raising Livestock

In the Village of Kragui, meat comes at a premium. Even a small fish costs more than most farmers can afford. That’s why Bamba Gohou Aissata wants her farm to get in the business of raising livestock. In this video vignette, Bamba provides a fascinating glimpse into the life of a woman farmer in Kragui, where women continue to work hard in the fields

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