Mars Wrigley Confectionery, a maker of chocolate for more than 100 years and one of the world’s largest buyers of cocoa, has launched a new plan for overhauling its cocoa supply chain.
Called ‘Cocoa for Generations,’ the plan places the interest of the smallholder farmer at its centre, aims to safeguard children and forests and creates a pathway for cocoa farmers and cocoa-growing communities to thrive.
Cocoa for Generations is backed by an investment of US$1 billion over 10 years and is incremental to the Sustainable in a Generation Plan investment Mars announced last year.
“For nearly 40 years we’ve been working to achieve sustainable cocoa production,” said John Ament, Global Vice President – Cocoa, Mars Wrigley Confectionery. “While we’ve made progress, including reaching nearly 180,000 farmers with sustainability certification, we are impatient with our pace of progress and of the cocoa sector overall. We don’t have all the answers but our first step is to put the farmer at the centre of our ambitions and actions.”
Cocoa for Generations consists of two pillars, ‘Responsible Cocoa Today,’ and ‘Sustainable Cocoa Tomorrow.’
Through its first pillar, Mars aims to have 100 pe cent of its cocoa from the Responsible Cocoa program responsibly sourced globally and traceable by 2025. Responsible Cocoa means having systems in place to address deforestation, child labour and higher incomes for farmers.
Through its second pillar, Mars hopes to demonstrate that a step-change in farmer income and livelihoods is possible. In partnership with an initial global group of 75,000 cocoa farming families and cocoa suppliers, Mars plans to test ways to increase productivity, income, resilience, and overall sustainability through crop and income diversification, gender programs, village and savings and loan models and farm development plans. In parallel, Mars will work with the industry, governments and other civil-society partners to seek shared solutions and mutually-beneficial results for cocoa farming families.
Mars will continue to collaborate pre-competitively with its peers and with suppliers to accelerate shared learning via industry forums including the World Cocoa Foundation and their CocoaAction platform and the International Cocoa Initiative.