USA – Mondelēz International, an American multinational food and beverage company, has published its third annual progress report for its signature sustainable sourcing program, Cocoa Life.

Through Cocoa Life, the company also increased its sourcing of sustainable cocoa to 35%, up 14 points from 2016.

Cocoa sustainably sourced through Cocoa Life was expanded to more products, including the full Cadbury Dairy Milk line in the UK and Ireland as well as Oreocookies in Europe, connecting even more consumers who enjoy Mondelēz International brands to cocoa farmers.

The report shows that Cocoa Life is delivering on its mission of creating a strong cocoa supply chain while transforming lives and livelihoods.

It also addresses deforestation and building resilience to climate change across six cocoa origin countries: Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, India and Brazil.

By the end of 2017, the program reached 120,500 farmers (up 31% compared to 2016) in 1,085 communities (up 26%).

“Cocoa Life is essential to our business, and I’m proud to see the progress we’ve made on the ground, working directly in cocoa communities.

This year’s Cocoa Life Progress Report shares significant accomplishments in securing the future of cocoa and thus, the future of our beloved chocolate for our consumers.

As we source more of our cocoa sustainably through Cocoa Life, we’re helping cocoa communities thrive,” said Christine Montenegro McGrath, Chief Well-being, Sustainability, Public & Government Affairs Officer at Mondelēz International.

Increasing cocoa farmers’ resilience to climate change was another important area of work for Cocoa Life in 2017.

Cocoa Life entered agreements with local governments and NGOs to help address deforestation and forest degradation in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire through several initiatives, including environmental and forest conservation training, mapping cocoa farms, monitoring protected land and distributing shade trees.

It also joined the World Cocoa Foundation and the Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit to establish the Cocoa & Forests Initiative with 11 other cocoa and chocolate companies.

Cocoa Life continuously identifies opportunities to scale up by working with independent partners to measure success and share on-the-ground learning.

This year, Ipsos published its impact evaluation of Cocoa Life efforts in Indonesia and impact studies for cocoa origins in West Africa are underway.

“We started Cocoa Life five years ago, and now is an important time for us to reflect on our progress.

Based on our achievements and learnings to date, we remain committed to our holistic, community-based approach.

In the coming year, we’ll continue working to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their families, with a focus on climate change resilience, child labour prevention and women’s empowerment,” said Cathy Pieters, Program Director, Cocoa Life.