Mondelēz International doubles down on cocoa life program with US$600m added investment

WEST AFRICA – Mondelēz International has launched the next phase of its Cocoa Life program, backed by an additional US$600 million through 2030, bringing its total investment to US$1 billion since the start of the program.

The Cocoa Life program was launched in 2012 to secure supply of more sustainable cocoa and establish an integrated approach striving to tackle the root causes of systemic issues in cocoa including farm productivity, farmer livelihoods, community development, and helping combat child labor and deforestation, together in one program.

Ten years on, with an investment worth US$400 million by the end of 2022, the program reached critical scale with over 200,000 farmers in the program.

It has also attained measurable impact results including farmer net incomes increasing by 15% in Ghana and 33% in Cote d’Ivoire, the two world’s leading cocoa producers and exporters.

Further to that, cocoa yields are higher, with double-digit percentage increases in farmers earning a living income, in addition to 61% of Cocoa Life communities in West Africa covered with Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems, with a goal to reach 100% by 2025.

Backed by the additional financing, Mondelēz seeks to increase the number of farming households reaching a living income, enhance child protection systems and access to quality education in Cocoa Life communities, and seek no deforestation on Cocoa Life farms globally.  

Cocoa Life is helping to address these challenges holistically across six cocoa-growing countries: Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, India and Brazil.

The program aims to increase cocoa volume at scale and work with about 300,000 farmers in the program by 2030.  

To achieve this, the chocolate maker will catalyse ground-breaking sector collaboration to help address systemic environmental and human rights challenges and improve cocoa farmer livelihoods.

“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,” said Dirk Van de Put, Chairman & CEO, Mondelēz International.

Key lessons from the past 10 years will allow Mondelez International to accelerate the Cocoa Life program and go further, faster, as more work remains to be done.

These learnings include applying an integrated approach to help deliver impact at scale suited to the farmer, community, and landscape; focusing on enabling farmers to increase their income; and accelerating innovation in cocoa production supported by incentives designed to professionalize smallholder cocoa farming and introduce climate-resilient, new producing models.

Christine Montenegro McGrath, Senior Vice President and Chief Impact and Sustainability Officer, Mondelēz International said, “While progress and impact have been made, cocoa farmers and their communities are still facing big challenges.

“We are passionate about helping to drive lasting change across the whole cocoa sector and are doubling down on Cocoa Life’s integrated approach because we know only a sector-wide long-term strategy, supported by action by all industry players, producing and consuming governments, and civil society will lead to lasting impact.”

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