Cocoa Life, Mondelez International’s sustainable sourcing programme, is to collaborate with governments in West Africa to reduce deforestation in the cocoa supply chain.
The company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Environment as part of the country’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) programme to support its goal to reach zero deforestation in cocoa. Cocoa Life has also signed a Letter of Intent with the Forestry Commission of Ghana and the UN Development Programme to establish a REDD+ partnership in Ghana.
“Mondelez International, through its Cocoa Life programme, is leading the cocoa industry to engage on an approach to reduce deforestation in the cocoa supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire,” said Jean Paul Aka, Head of National REDD+ Strategy and Private Sector Commitment.
Cocoa Life and Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Environment will create a forest protection map, land use plan and tracking system to identify deforestation risks and opportunities to restore forest cover in the Nawa region, which borders the precious Tai National Park. Cocoa Life will also promote good agricultural practices to enable farmers to improve productivity, adopt agro-forestry systems and free up land for other crops or reforestation.
“The Cocoa Life programme in Ghana has contributed immensely to ongoing national efforts to make the cocoa sector economically and environmentally sustainable through the promotion of climate-smart approaches to cocoa farming,” said Yaw Kwakye, Head of the Climate Change Unit in Ghana’s Forestry Commission.
“Cocoa farmers and community leaders in West Africa tell us climate change is already impacting their farms,” said Chris McGrath, Chief Well-being, Sustainability and Public Affairs Officer at Mondelez International. “With our investment in Cocoa Life, we have the capacity and the partnerships to help farmers become more resilient by adopting climate-smart solutions and protecting forests. These new agreements will amplify our existing work to protect the precious environment in cocoa-growing regions.”
Mondelez International is a founding member of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative, in which 12 leading cocoa and chocolate companies will work, in partnership with others, to end deforestation in the cocoa supply chain. To read Cocoa Life’s position paper on its strategy to protect forests and help farmers and cocoa-farming communities become more resilient, please visit Cocoa Life website.