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Indonesia: A chance for chocolate

Since 2011, Mars Chocolate has partnered with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, and the government of Indonesia to develop the Cocoa Development Center model in Sulawesi.  IFAD has recently developed a video on our efforts here, and they’ve released a special version just in time for Easter.

In the IFAD video, you’ll meet Ahmad Darise, a … Read more

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Rabobank References Sustainable Cocoa Initiative in New Report on Supply Chains

Rabobank – one of the world’s leading sustainable financial institutions, based in the Netherlands – recently published a research report (see a summary at The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch), which identified the flaws in the food and agriculture supply chains, and some recommendations to make the supply chain more effective and sustainable. Currently, companies operate with a linear supply chain, which makes it … Read more

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Mars Video Vignette: A Day on the Farm in Soubré, Côte d’Ivoire

What does a day on the farm look like for Mars cocoa workers in Soubré, Côte d’Ivoire? In this video vignette, M. Diomandé Yacouba directly shares his experiences as a farmer in the Koda Village, giving us an inside look at his daily life after working on the plantation for 15 years. You will hear him describe his daily routine on the farm and how … Read more

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The Role of Women in Making Cocoa Sustainable

We appreciate the recent attention that Oxfam International is giving towards cocoa farmers and the communities they live in.  As we are working comprehensively to help farmers and their families achieve better wages and more opportunities, we welcome the consideration from organizations also interested in the welfare of farmers and their communities.  We are looking forward to strengthening our approach involving women in the community … Read more

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Chicago Fair Trade 2013 Members Kick Off Meeting

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

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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