Topics Archives: Cocoa

Mars to Help Bahia Continue Its Economic and Social Recovery

In the 1980s, Bahia, Brazil was one of the largest cocoa producers in the world, producing over 300,000 tons per year. However, in 1989, a fungal disease, called “Witches’  Broom”, ravaged the area and in 3 years total yearly production would be down by over 30%.

This fungus devastated Bahia—leaving 200,000 people unemployed, there was social unrest and a destroyed economy.  For the next

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Minister Sangafowa Visits Mars-sponsored Cocoa Development Center in Soubré

Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Agriculture, M. Mamadou Sangafowa, along with a delegation of nearly 200 government officials traveled to a Mars-sponsored Cocoa Development Center in Soubré last month for a four-day field visit. While he was there, Minister Sangafowa commended V4C’s efforts to help cocoa farmers create sustainable businesses.

Earning Minister Sangafowa’s support represents a tremendous achievement for V4C. It clears the way for

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Mars Talks About Putting Farmers First at Chocovision 2012

I’ve just returned from Davos, Switzerland, where I presented at the Chocovision 2012 conference.  The conference brings together senior business leaders and key stakeholders in the cocoa and chocolate industry to discuss the future of the sector.  The theme for the event was “Balance the Challenge – From cocoa to chocolate – strategy, sustainability and success,” a topic about which we at Mars Chocolate

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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

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Mars Chocolate and ICRAF Workshop on Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus

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

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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

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More Cocoa to be Certified

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

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Putting the Cocoa Genome to Work

We announced our intention to map the cocoa genome in 2008 and were very excited to finish the project almost 3 years ahead of schedule.  We received many positive reactions, and hundreds of researchers have now downloaded our open-sourced genome dataset from www.cacaogenomedb.org.  The genome is now public property, and we have registered it so that no part of the sequence

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Cocoa and Food Security

As many of us know, millions of small scale farmers in West Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia depend on cocoa for their household incomes and livelihoods. But is there a link between cocoa farming and food security? In our opinion, the answer is “yes” for several reasons.

First, as a perennial tree crop, good cocoa cultivation fosters crop diversity and the integration of

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Mars Chocolate Germany and UTZ Certified Visit Ghana Cocoa Farmering Schools

Visit to Ghana – Attending a farmer field school

Note: This post is authored by Nico Schiller, Corporate Affairs Manager at Mars Chocolate Germany

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Birds twittering in

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