Chicago — Mars, Inc has published its Cocoa for Generations progress report, which details the company’s advancement toward creating a modern, inclusive and sustainable cocoa supply chain, with 100 percent of its cocoa being responsibly sourced and traceable from farm to first point of purchase by 2025.
“Too many cocoa farmers continue to face a series of challenges from poverty to child labor and deforestation. The impacts of climate change and global crises are exacerbating existing vulnerabilities across cocoa farming communities and beyond. This is why we aim to accelerate the transformation of the cocoa supply chain so that it benefits both people and the planet,” Andrew Clarke, global president, Mars says. “To get there, we’re working to protect children, preserve forests, and improve farmer incomes. We are challenging ourselves and the entire sector to evolve and adopt approaches that deliver greater impact where it matters most – in cocoa farming communities across Latin America, West Africa, and Southeast Asia.”
The report details the company’s progress in 2021. Enabled by its Cocoa for Generations strategy, Mars is strongly committed to accelerating the transformation of the cocoa supply chain, according to the company. Recently, it launched two programs that aim to support 14,000 smallholder farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and Indonesia on a path to a sustainable living income by 2030.
In collaboration with CARE, the Mars Women for Change program has reached more than 77,000 members in cocoa farming communities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, through its Village Savings and Loans Association program. This effort has supported almost 58,000 women, resulting in more than $7.4 million in collective savings and $3.7 million in loans distributed. These funds have been used in a variety of ways, including cocoa farming activities; household related expenses and additional income-generating activities.
Achieving its goal of the cocoa it sources being 100 percent deforestation- and conversion-free will deliver an estimated 20 percent reduction in Mars’ total greenhouse gas footprint.
Through its suppliers, Mars has distributed more than 1.9 million new non-cocoa trees in 2021, helping to increase shade and biodiversity and capture carbon.
“We can’t do this work alone. The shifts and the scale to reach sustained, demonstrable improvements for cocoa farming families and their communities requires thinking and collaborating in new ways. We are working to transform the cocoa ecosystem, and while we’ve made important progress to-date, we’re not done yet,” Amber Johnson, vice-president Mars Wrigley Cocoa says. “Through our programs and in collaboration with key global partners, including industry peers, governments, development agencies, research institutions and civil society organizations, we’re sharing what works and what we learn along the way. We remain constructively discontent – relentless in our work to create a modern, inclusive, and sustainable cocoa supply chain. One where the environment is protected, human rights are respected, and everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”