INDONESIA – US multinational snack and food company, Mondelēz International has partnered with Singapore based supplier of cocoa beans and cocoa ingredients, Olam Food Ingredients (OFI) to advance sustainable farming in Indonesia.
The two companies have announced a new collaboration in Indonesia to create the world’s single largest sustainable commercial cocoa farm featuring advanced climate smart and plant science technology. The 2,000-hectare cocoa farm will be in Seram, the largest island in Maluku province in Indonesia.
The model builds on Mondelēz International’s experience with the company’s signature sustainable sourcing program, Cocoa Life, and OFI’s ambition for sustainable cocoa, Cocoa Compass, to test a scalable approach for the future of commercial cocoa farming.
Mondelēz says the model farm will test a modernised and professional blueprint for best practice cocoa farming, optimal land usage and farming community planning which will be explored as a potential model for replication across the region.
“As one of the world’s leading chocolate makers, we’re on a mission to make cocoa right and to secure a sustainable future for an ingredient essential to our business. we’re excited to leverage our know-how in a collaborative approach to sustainable raw material sourcing with a geographically customized solution,” said Quentin Roach, SVP Supply Chain & Chief Procurement Officer, Mondelēz International.
The model farm is timely as demand for cocoa is growing across Asia, which is set to become the second largest consuming region of cocoa ingredients in the world.
Indonesia is a strategic location for the model farm as it is a key cocoa-producing country in the region in need of sustainable farming methods as farmers have struggled with rising temperatures, low yields and crop disease.
Combining their respective expertise in cocoa growing research and development, sustainable cocoa farm management, and good agricultural practices, Mondelēz International and OFI promise to tackle these problems by improving the livelihoods of partner cocoa farmers, empowering communities and restoring the environmental productivity of a previously deforested landscape.
The project is expected to boost the economy of the area as nearly 700 jobs will be created for local residents, nearly half of which will go to women with amenities such as housing, electricity, water, education, and healthcare being developed both for employees and the community.
The project will also result in reclamation of 2,000 hectares previously deforested brown field land which will be planted with cocoa, shade trees, forest, and fruit trees to promote biodiversity and carbon capture.
Mondelēz says that more than 1,080 hectares have already been planted across the total plantation area of 3,380 hectares with an additional 47 hectares already identified as High Conservation Value forest and is being fully protected as a vital habitat for flora and fauna.
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