Mondelēz seeks 100%

cocoa sustainability

Welcome to Duty Calls. This regular feature aims to shine a light on some of the most laudable examples of altruism and sustainability within the travel retail industry by companies that go beyond the call of duty. In this issue, Mark Lane puts the spotlight on Mondelēz International and its Cocoa Life sustainability programme.

Mondelēz International Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dirk Van de Put (right) on a visit to see the Cocoa Life programme in action. Also pictured is Wilberforce Amoh, Project Officer for Extension and Environment, Cocoa Life Ghana.

Multinational confectionery, food and beverage company Mondelēz International has pledged to source 100% of the cocoa needed for its chocolate brands through its Cocoa Life sustainability programme by 2025. At present, 43% of its cocoa comes from the initiative, which it has been working with for more than six years.

When Cocoa Life launched in 2012, Illinois-headquartered Mondelēz committed US$400 million to the initiative in a bid to help build a stronger cocoa supply chain by increasing cocoa productivity and supporting local cocoa farming communities to improve their resilience.

The programme works directly with cocoa farmers and communities to improve their livelihoods through a focus on skills, education and access to essential resources such as planting materials and crop protection.

It is said to boost yields on existing farms, building resilience in cocoa-growing communities and preventing deforestation.

The expansion of the programme will see an increase in the number of farmers and communities Mondelēz International supports across six cocoa origin countries: Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, India, and Brazil.

This video offers an introduction to the Cocoa Life programme.

Brands such as Milka, Cadbury Dairy Milk, and Côte d’Or already carry the Cocoa Life logo, and moving forwards these will be joined by Toblerone and Lacta.

Mondelēz International Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dirk Van de Put said: “As demand for chocolate continues to grow, we are leading the transformation to build a thriving cocoa sector, an ingredient essential to our growth.

“This is an important milestone for our Cocoa Life programme and will ensure more consumers around the world can be confident that the chocolate brands they love are made the right way.”

The company has also released Cocoa Life’s 2018 annual report, which it claims is the first ever large-scale impact report in the cocoa industry. The report shows “encouraging results” from the first six years of the programme. It points out that Cocoa Life works with over 142,000 farmers to grow more cocoa on their farms, and works with more than 1,400 communities.

Cocoa yields are continuously improving, says the report, and results show that as cocoa farms become more efficient, their yield increases. This is an important development, as farms that can do more with less land are able to create spare land that can be used for other income-generating activities, helping make cocoa farming a prosperous business.

With increased efficiency through the programme, farmers can devote more time to other income-generating activities.

The report also indicates that farmers are choosing not to expand into protected forests. Encouraging and enabling cocoa farmers and communities to protect the land where cocoa is grown has been fundamental to the Cocoa Life approach, Mondelēz said.

It added that guided by results, the programme will refine its focus to key areas of intervention where the biggest impact can be made.

“The expansion of Cocoa Life moves Mondelēz International a step closer to improving the positive impact the company has on people and the planet,” Van de Put said. 

“Through Cocoa Life, we are leading the way in the fight against climate change in the cocoa sector and playing an active role in securing sustainable supplies of key raw materials.”

Bold mission: Mondelēz International has pledged to source the cocoa for its chocolate brands 100% sustainably.

The Moodie Davitt e-Zine Duty Calls feature series highlights environmental and socially responsible initiatives around the globe where people and the planet are the priority. If you have CSR projects, big or small, that you would like featured in Duty Calls, please contact Michael Barrett at

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The Moodie Davitt eZine | Issue 261 | 9 May 2019