Regions Archives: Africa

Cocoa advances in Cote d’Ivoire

CDI MOU

Having just returned from a trip to Cote d’Ivoire to check in on our sustainability efforts there, I’m struck by the difference from my last visit. I was last in Cote d’Ivoire in 2010 when we signed the Memorandum of Understanding (click MoU to read the memorandum and here to watch the ceremony), just before a period of great political uncertainty.  Cote d’Ivoire is

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Cocoa Productivity and Quality Improvement

With cocoa demand up, yields down and a shortage of new land to farm, cocoa research is critical to improving African, Asian and S. American cocoa farmer livelihoods through higher-quality and more productive crops.

My team and I recently participated in and helped fund a significant global research initiative that spanned multiple continents. The effort involved a dozen participating countries, industry leaders like us,

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U.S. Senator Tom Harkin Visits Ghana

One of the more intractable issues facing Mars and the entire cocoa industry is children on cocoa farms performing dangerous tasks or working instead of attending school. This is a high-profile issue that concerns social advocates and governments as well as customers and consumers. We share these concerns, and we don’t believe that the worst forms of child labor have any place in the

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Cocoa rehabilitation in Cote d’Ivoire: African agronomists trained on cocoa rehabilitation in Indonesia

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The following blog post is from Hussin Purung, Mars Cocoa Sustainability Field Manager in Indonesia.

The West African cocoa industry is at a crossroads.  Two million cocoa farmers are cultivating six million hectares of cocoa – most of which is on aging, declining farm land.  With no new land available for new farms, the African cocoa industry must rehabilitate

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Jet Lagged but Optimistic

UTZ cocoa farmer

Upon arriving home after the MOU signing ceremony and field trip, I distinctly remember the feeling of both jet lag and optimism! I am happy to report that same optimism has carried through today.

The new Minister of Agriculture and the President of the Cocoa & Coffee Committee understand the issues in quality and productivity and are committed to reversing the negative trend. They

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Thoughts on our Work in Cote d’Ivoire

Cocoa Farm

April 5, 2010 – As a member of the Mars Cocoa Sustainability Team, work in West Africa has always represented both a business and a personal challenge in terms of making significant and meaningful progress towards sustainability. Since our decision to focus greater effort in the world’s largest cocoa producer, Côte d’Ivoire, each of us has been determined to work in collaboration with the

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