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
As our contingency of Dutch, Ivorian, and Americans waited to see the Ashanti King, drums pounded and bright colors flashed, and delegations passed by to pay their respects to the king. We were on a mission to create a film called “For the Love of Chocolate.” But not just a love of that creamy, sweet chocolate bar that we’re all familiar with in western world, … Read more
Traveling to cocoa growing communities around the world has long been an important part of my job, and though it involves a lot of time in airplanes throughout the year, there’s just no substitute for seeing our projects in person and meeting the people involved.
On Sunday, November 18, I met with the chief and other leaders of Petit Bondoukou, one of the first communities … Read more
Please see below a press release on the Vision for Change and our partnership with ICRAF and national partners, which was released earlier this week:
Abidjan – 20 November 2012 For over a hundred years, cocoa has been the black gold of Western Africa, despite a political trading past that has often darkened the pages of history. Now, a partnership between two unlikely organizations promises … Read more
We have a special guest blog post by Ermias Betemariam, Land Health Scientist from the World Agroforesty Centre (ICRAF), who recently returned from Cote d’Ivoire.
I recently returned from a work trip to Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s largest cocoa producer. Part of my time there was spent visiting with smallholder cocoa farmers involved in the Vision for Change: Sustainable Cocoa Communities project.
The project—a long-term … Read more