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
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
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
The effort to ensure that cocoa farmers can be more productive through training – to make sure they can learn about sophisticated farming practices and then utilize them on their own farms – is essential to Mars Chocolate’s sustainability efforts. “Technology transfer” is a simple concept, but in practice, takes a lot of creative thinking and leadership from those in the industry who have embraced … Read more
It is a thick, hot winter in Côte d’Ivoire, and the gritty Harmattan winds have settled a Saharan haze over Abidjan. The exceptionally dry weather has started to harm the cocoa trees, and many are already predicting a smaller harvest later this year.
We have come from a week in Soubré, 5 hours drive or so (depending on the number of potholes you hit) from … Read more
On Sunday, February 26th, I participated in a panel on sustainable sourcing at Harvard Business School’s (HBS) Social Enterprise 2012 conference. Moderated by HBS professor Christopher Marquis, other participants in the discussion included Justin Bakule of Foundation Strategy Group, Pacita Juan of EchoStore, and Chuck Rubin of CommonSoles.
This was a chance to talk about both the business and … Read more
During the week of January 23rd, representatives from the Governments of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire met with officials of the US Department of Labor, the congressional offices of Tom Harkin and Eliot Engel as well as the global cocoa industry for a series of meetings aimed at identifying more innovative and collaborative ways to address the worst forms of child labor in the … Read more
Every now and then in cocoa sustainability work it’s very useful to take stock of where we are on a particular topic, share ideas and put experts together. At the end of last year we did this for the areas of cocoa soils and use of fertilizer in cocoa production. We started work on our Vision For Change program in Ivory Coast and have been … Read more
U.S. Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire Philip Carter III paid a special visit to our local cocoa partners on the ground in Petit Bondoukou. A team of us from Mars Chocolate joined Mr. Carter, his wife and the 3rd Secretary of the Embassy on the visit last week to discuss ways farmers can use enhanced technology to improve quality cocoa production. Two key government … Read more
The folks at The Hershey Company are taking a step in the right direction with their announcement today that they are expanding their cocoa programs. The company announced that they will be working with The Rainforest Alliance, who is one of Mars Chocolate’s certifying partners as well.
Why is this news important? Because it means that more farmers will benefit from certification, which will improve … Read more