Topics Archives: Cocoa Development Centers

Two Years of Progress in Petit Bondoukou

Traveling to cocoa growing communities around the world has long been an important part of my job, and though it involves a lot of time in airplanes throughout the year, there’s just no substitute for seeing our projects in person and meeting the people involved.

On Sunday, November 18, I met with the chief and other leaders of Petit Bondoukou, one of the first

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Positive Changes to the Fairtrade Standard for Cocoa for Small Producer Organizations

Here at Mars, we are encouraged to see the new changes to the Fairtrade Standard for Cocoa for Small Producer Organizations. At its core, our partnership with Fairtrade International shares the principle of putting farmers first. With regard to cocoa, yield and quality improvement offer significant income-generating opportunities for farmers, while at the same time protecting their livelihoods in the long term.

For too

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Mars Chocolate’s Sustainable Cocoa Initiative in NCA Journal

Take a few minutes to read this month’s issue of NCA Journal for a piece regarding our Sustainable Cocoa Initiative.  The magazine interviewed Andrew Harner for a comprehensive article on the work we are doing in cocoa sustainability, with a special focus on the Vision for Change program in Côte d’Ivoire.  It was gratifying to discuss with them the importance of the Cocoa Development

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Cocoa Development Centers Take Off – ECOM becomes first supply chain partner to build CDC in Cote d’Ivoire

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

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A Challenge to Reach Millions of Cocoa Farmers

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)

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Cocoa advances in Cote d’Ivoire

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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Success Alliance for Cocoa in the Philippines

In June I had a wonderful opportunity to see the Success Alliance program in action on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines.  The program is run by ACDI/VOCA with the support of USAID and the World Cocoa Foundation, of which Mars is a member.  Broadly, Success Alliance works to enable farmers to create successful businesses around cocoa production, and this can include

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Cocoa Development Centers in Vietnam – A Mars Signature Program to Support Farmers

Mars senior managers visit a cocoa farm in Vietnam

Hanoi, March 28th 2011: an innovative Public-Private Partnership Vietnam Networking Dinner was announced to support Vietnam in its’ development as a successful cocoa producing country. During a network dinner in the presence of HRH the Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his spouse Maxima, a Letter of Intent was signed for a partnership

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