2012 was a banner year for the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative, and in particular for our Vision for Change projects in the Soubré region of Cote d’Ivoire. We saw marked improvement in the four key areas of productivity, community development, monitoring and evaluation, and coalition building. We thought we’d share with you just some of the important achievements we saw last year.
In the area of … Read more
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 varieties … Read more
A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to see Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance, speak at the International Supply Management Congress in Amsterdam. She was one of three keynote speakers at the event, and it was gratifying to hear her discuss in a positive way the work that Mars is doing on cocoa sustainability.
At the Congress, Tensie quoted Mars’s thinking that … Read more
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 future … Read more
A few weeks ago, we celebrated the start of export shipments of certified sustainable cocoa butter and cocoa powder from our cocoa bean processing factory in Makassar, South Sulawesi in Indonesia.
It marks a new phase of our sustainability efforts in that country. In addition to expanding our cocoa grinding factory and doubling the size of our office in Makassar, we are also investing more … Read more
In the past few weeks, Jeff Morgan and I visited Cote d’Ivoire to review the progress of the community development plans of the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative’s Vision for Change program. We were encouraged to see the first development plans validated by a local government lead committee, the Validation Committee.
The vision of the program is that communities, supported by ANADER (National Agency for Rural Development … Read more
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 of … Read more
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 and … Read more
Last week while at the World Cocoa Conference in Abidjan, we were pleased to hear that Mondelez International will be committing US $400 million to cocoa sustainability over the next 10 years, of which US $100 million will be invested in Côte d’Ivoire.
After hearing Tim Cofer’s remarks at the conference as well, we welcome this move, as it will take everyone in the industry … Read 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 for … Read more