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Chicago Fair Trade 2013 Members Kick Off Meeting

Shayna Harris - Chicago FairTrade 2

On February 11th, Chicago Fair Trade held its 2013 members kickoff meeting and fostered meaningful dialogue surrounding the progress being made with sustainability initiatives in the United States and abroad. Chicago Fair Trade supports events throughout the year to bring individuals together to learn about where products come from and how they can support the development of a more sustainable economy, especially through … Read more

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Bloomberg BusinessWeek Looks at the Sector’s Cocoa Sustainability Initiatives

Happy Valentine’s Day!  And in anticipation of our annual celebration of love and chocolate, Bloomberg BusinessWeek looked at the role that cocoa sustainability is playing in the sector.  The article focuses on the challenges that cocoa farmers are facing in producing enough yields to make their farms profitable and how that is impacting the willingness of the next generation to remain a part of their … Read more

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Video on Vision for Change Shows Progress in Côte d’Ivoire

What does our Vision for Change program in Côte d’Ivoire look like on the ground?  How will it help farmers in Soubré?  What do the farmers themselves think of the effort to train them in methods like grafting and pruning?  You can find the answer to these questions in our new video on Vision for Change.

In the video, you will see the kinds of … Read more

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Vision for Change’s Achievements in 2012

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

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Genetic Diversity and Cocoa Research in Trinidad

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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

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Rainforest Alliance president challenges cocoa sector to be leaders

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

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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 future … Read more

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Mars exports first certified sustainable cocoa butter and powder from Sulawesi

Makassar opening photo

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

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Vision for Change progress – First Community Development Plans Validated

V4C community photo 3

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

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2012 Cocoa Barometer Calls the Industry to Action on Cocoa Sustainability

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

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