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Mars and IDH Sign MoU on Cocoa Sustainability Initiative

We’re happy to announce that Mars Chocolate and The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, marking a  strategic collaboration between two major frontrunners in the push for meaningful transformation of the cocoa sector.

Mars, along with industry leaders such as Kraft, Nestle, ADM and other partners in the IDH cocoa program are important players and have set ambitious goals for the purchase … Read more

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Dispatches from the ISEAL Alliance 2012 Conference

ISEAL conference photo

Almost 200 members and supporters of the ISEAL Alliance came together at a conference in Bonn, Germany last week.  Founded in 2002, ISEAL has provided 10 years of leadership in standards and certification.

Representing Mars Chocolate, I sat on a great Impact data panel with representatives from international supermarket retailer Ahold, UTZ Certified, and Marine Stewardship Council.  We discussed that despite the challenges on good … Read more

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Mars Meets our 2011 Certification Goal

Certification graphic 2 - tons airbus

As you may have seen, we announced today that Mars Chocolate met its 2011 benchmark of purchasing 10 percent certified sustainable cocoa – or approximately  30,000 tons – as part of its total supply.  In two short years, we have made dramatic progress towards reaching our ultimate goal of purchasing 100% of our cocoa from certified sustainable sources by 2020.

Mars Chocolate has set an … Read more

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Sustainable Food Lab Leadership Summit

Leadership Summit 4

Over 100 sustainable food and agriculture leaders from industry, civil society, and government came together for the Sustainable Food Lab (SFL) annual meeting (link: http://sustainablefood.org/newsletter/) in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic from April 29th – May 3rd, 2012. Meeting themes strongly centered on cocoa, on impact, and on bringing the work to scale. Mars is on the advisory board of the SFL and my colleagues Kevin … Read more

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Congratulations to Rainforest Alliance for 25 Years of Promoting Sustainability

A moment to wish the folks at Rainforest Alliance congratulations on the 25th anniversary of their organization, which was feted at a gala held on May 16th in New York City.  Having won their “Sustainable Standard Setter” award last year, we were honored to co-chair the event with our supply chain partners ECOM.  The gala was held at the Museum of Natural History … Read more

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Mars Chocolate and ICRAF Workshop on Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus

Mars Workshop 4

Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus (CSSV) has wreaked havoc on cocoa crops throughout  much of West Africa and continues to inflict serious economic and human hardship in cocoa-growing countries.  As part of our research and collaborative efforts to better manage and combat this disease, Mars Chocolate and ICRAF recently held a regional workshop on CSSV in Accra, Ghana.

The weeklong workshop brought together more than 25 … Read more

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Mars Chocolate at Secretary Clinton’s Global Impact Economy Forum

Last Thursday, I was invited to speak at Secretary Clinton’s Global Impact Economy Forum, a gathering of 250 high-level investors, business executives, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, academics, and policymakers, in Washington, DC.  It was a great honor to have the work of the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative highlighted by the State Department and I was pleased to represent Mars Chocolate at the event.

The forum featured comments … Read more

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IDH and Mars Chocolate Inc Contract for Innovative Cocoa Productivity and Quality Program

IDH Program

IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative  is a trade body supported by the Dutch Government, designed to help promote sustainable trade and strengthen supply of different commodities in The Netherlands.

As the manager of the cocoa program at IDH I’m proud  of our ambitious initiative to transform the cocoa sector though mainstreaming sustainability. Our program aimed primarily on professionalizing farmers, so that they can increase productivity and … Read more

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Regional Cocoa Breeders Group Makes Progress

Regional Cocoa Breeders Group in Malaysia, November 2011

The Regional Cocoa Breeders Group is a collaboration of regional Asia/Pacific cocoa breeders in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and India.  The group meets to address improving planting materials for cocoa farmers. A majority of collaborators are the national cocoa research institutes or universities responsible for cocoa research in each region.

The Regional Cocoa Breeders Group first met in Singapore in 2004, where … Read more

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Cocoa Breeding to Enhance Production and Combat Disease in Ecuador

Juan Carlos Motamayor showing a high number of pods on a 1.5 year old tree from the newly developed cocoa varieties

Ecuador has a unique, rich 400-year history of cocoa farming, and great strides are currently underway to enhance production and combat diseases in this country that together with Peru, features the most diverse cocoa genetic diversity in the world.

Mars Chocolate, in partnership with the INIAP – the national research institute of Ecuador – is investing in an innovative cocoa breeding program that will help … Read more

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