Cocoa sustainability drive gains $3m industry commitment

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Chocolate makers up funding on sustainability as the threat of a 1m metric ton cocoa deficit by 2020 looms. Photo credit: Mondelez
Chocolate makers up funding on sustainability as the threat of a 1m metric ton cocoa deficit by 2020 looms. Photo credit: Mondelez

Related tags Ivory coast Côte d'ivoire Cocoa bean Ghana

The chocolate and cocoa industry has pledged $3m in new funds to global cocoa sustainability as major firms including Mondelez, Hershey and Cargill talk about their new initiatives.

The announcements came as the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) holds its two-day 23rd partnership meeting in Washington, US, which concludes today.

WCF: $3m in new funding

WCF said that the $3 million in new funding would go towards cocoa sustainability projects in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

The money will be spent on programs including rolling Hershey’s mobile phone scheme out in the Ivory Coast and building a new school in the country in partnership with Finnish confectioner Fazer.

A project has also begun to support 70,000 cocoa farming households in Nigeria and another supporting 1,000 farmers and their households in Liberia.

Japanese confectioner Meiji has made its first contribution to WCF by injecting funding into projects in Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Nigeria.

WCF also announced a partnership with ACDI/VOCA for a project to develop the cocoa sector in Indonesia, which includes support from Continaf, Hershey, Mars, Mondelez and Olam.

The organization will hold its 24th Partnership Meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on October 15-16, 2013, the first time it has been held in the Caribbean.

Hershey takes CocoaLink to Ivory Coast

Hershey has extended its CocoaLink project, which sends SMS messages to farmers providing ethical and practical advice, to the Ivory Coast after a piloting the project in Ghana.

The company has joined the Conseil Café-Cacao (CCC) of Ivory Coast and nine other companies in creating CocoaLink Cote d’Ivoire, which is expected to enroll 100,000 cocoa farmers by 2016.

Hershey has previously defended the effectiveness of the program after NGOs raised questions about the benefits of the project for farmers. See HERE.

Mondelez – Cocoa Life expands to Ivory Coast

Mondelez International has expanded its sustainability program ‘Cocoa Life’ to the Ivory Coast by signing a memorandum of understanding with Ivorian government’s CCC to help farmers increase sustainable cocoa production.

The project, in collaboration with CARE International, will target 4,000 farmers in 11 villages.

A Mondelez spokesperson told this site that the program formed part of the company’s our $100 million commitment to help 75,000 Ivorian farmers double their productivity,  as announced last November. 

Cargill increase North American certified offerings

Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate has also announced that it has upped the range and availability of its certified sustainable offerings in North America.

The company’s Gerkens cocoa powders and its Peter’s, Wilbur and Veliche chocolate brands will now be available in certified options including UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade.

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