Mondelez Ramps Investment In Sustainable Cocoa Initiatives To $1 Billion

Food company Mondelēz International (MDLZ) announced today a commitment to invest an additional $600 million by 2030 in its global cocoa sustainability program, Cocoa Life, bringing its total investments in the initiative to $1 billion, aimed at addressing systemic environmental and human rights challenges and improve cocoa farmer livelihoods.

Image via Mondelēz International

Mondelēz, which owns chocolate brands including Cadbury and Toblerone, sources cocoa from countries including Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, India and Brazil, with farmers in many of these areas facing challenges ranging from climate change and gender inequality, to poverty and child labor.

The company launched Cocoa Life in 2012, in order to help address these systemic issues, and work with farmers with a focus on areas including farm productivity, farmer livelihoods, community development, and combating child labor and deforestation.

In 2021, Mondelēz sourced 75% of its cocoa through Cocoa Life, and had reached 209,000 farmers through the program. The company has set a goal to source 100% of its cocoa through the program by 2025.

Christine Montenegro McGrath, Senior Vice President and Chief Impact and Sustainability Officer at Mondelēz, said:

“As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Cocoa Life, we are excited to announce the next phase. While progress and impact have been made, cocoa farmers and their communities are still facing big challenges.”

With the increase in investment, Mondelēz said that it aims to work with about 300,000 farmers in the program by 2030, to help farming households reach a living income, enhance child protection systems and access to quality education, and achieve no deforestation on Cocoa Life farms globally.

Initiatives outlined by the company under the program included developing a mechanism that supports a decent price for farmers, working with women groups to help develop additional business opportunities, scaling up Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems, engaging in public-private partnerships working towards improving quality education, as well as strengthening deforestation monitoring systems, promoting agroforestry and making forest conservation more attractive.

Dirk Van de Put, Chairman & CEO, Mondelēz International said:

“As one of the world’s leading snacking companies, it is a priority to continue making our most important ingredients, such as cocoa, right, and Cocoa Life sits at the heart of this strategy. While we are excited about the promise of our investments, we are calling for more sector-wide effort and actions to drive greater impact, including new private-public partnerships, as we aim to catalyze ground-breaking collaboration to help move cocoa forward together.”

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