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Barry Parkin Named Chairman of World Cocoa Foundation Board of Directors

The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) has named Chief Sustainability Officer Barry Parkin as its new Board of Directors chairman.   The international membership organization represents more than 100 member companies across the cocoa value chain, all committed to creating a sustainable cocoa economy by putting farmers first.  The group promotes agricultural and environmental stewardship and strengthening development in cocoa-growing communities.

“We are grateful to Barry Parkin … Read more

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ICYMI: Mars mentioned in the Financial Times

A few weeks ago, Mark Kramer of FSG mentioned Mars’s work in an opinion column he wrote for the Financial Times.  The column focuses on creating shared value between businesses and societies, and how business schools should work with MBA students to develop that focus. It mentions Mars’s work in cocoa sustainability as one example:

“Mars is helping to lead a public-private coalition to … Read more

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A Visit to Petit Bondoukou

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We recently returned from a visit to the village of Petit Bondoukou in Côte d’Ivoire, where the program is already reaching that community.  Below are a few pictures from that trip, where we visited a school and met with Joel Yao, an operator of one of the newly-opened Cocoa Village Centers (CVCs) that are so critical to our efforts there.  You’ll be hearing more about … Read more

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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 really … Read more

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Improving Community Development Practices

Capitalization workshop - Soubré

As part of its Vision for Change program, Mars has been supporting Community-driven development activities in the Soubré region of western Côte d’Ivoire since 2011.  For some communities involved since the beginning, it is time to take stock of the activity.

Since the beginning of 2014, members of the ICRAF (International Center for Research on Agroforestry) implementation team have been conducting “capitalization” meetings with representatives … Read more

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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 (ICI), … Read more

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Introducing new member to the sustainability communications team – Christopher Davault

Happy Valentine’s Day to cocoa lovers everywhere!

As a newer member of the cocoa sustainability team handling communications, I wanted to introduce myself.  My name is Christopher Davault, and I am the Global Manager for Cocoa Sustainability and Leadership Communications at Mars Global Chocolate. I lead both internal and external global communication initiatives for the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative and am the point person for all … Read more

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Cocoa transforming lives in Vietnam

A recent article in Viet Nam News about the emergence of cocoa as an important crop in Vietnam highlights how Mars’s efforts in that country, in conjunction with our partners at USAID, USDA, the World Cocoa Foundation, and ACDI/VOCA, are aiding a women cocoa farmer, Hbim Kbrong, and her family:

For Hbim Kbrong, a M’Nong woman in Yang Tao Commune’s Phok Village, her new cocoa

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Mars Releases Assessment of Gender and Women’s Empowerment in Côte d’Ivoire’s Cocoa Sector

Mars Chocolate is committed to empowering women cocoa farmers, who provide 45% of the labor on cocoa farms in Côte d'Ivoire

In April, Mars Chocolate signed the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles as a demonstration of our commitment to empowering women in the cocoa sector.  As part of our commitment to promoting the principle of “Mutuality”, Mars Chocolate commissioned an expert third party assessment of gender and women’s empowerment within the western region of Côte d’Ivoire where we are pursuing a large cocoa development program.

While the … Read more

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Mars’ Pioneering Role in Vietnam Bearing Pods

Puratos Grand-Place Opening Celebration

Vietnam’s cocoa development received a shot in the arm when Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam opened its Cocoa Development Centre & Cocoa Collection and Fermentation Plant in Ben Tre, a province in Mekong Delta of southern Vietnam, on November 14, 2013.  Puratos Grand-Place offers products and application expertise in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors, and they have found the chocolate made from Vietnam cocoa bean gives … Read more

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