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20 November 2012 | Anna Reynolds
Food manufacturer Mondelēz International is to invest $400 million (£251 million) over the next 10 years to transform the cocoa supply chain in Africa’s farming communities.
The sustainability initiative called Cocoa Life includes $100 million (£62 million) investment in cocoa production in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer, to help 75,000 farmers double their productivity. As well as improving the lives of over 200,000 cocoa farmers across the continent, the resulting benefits are expected to encompass one million people in cocoa farming communities.
Bharat Puri, senior vice president of global chocolate at Mondelēz International - which changed its name from Kraft Foods in October and owns the Cadbury chocolate brand – said in a statement: “We’re investing in much more than farming – it’s about empowering cocoa communities as a whole so cocoa farming villages become places where people want to live.”
Cocoa Life has four key aims which are; helping farmers to improve their yields and earn larger incomes; creating sustainable farming communities; eliminating child labour and make cocoa farming a more attractive profession for; and protecting the cocoa farming environment for future generations.
Mondelēz International is currently working with third party organisations including the United Nations Development Programme, the World Wide Fund for Nature and Anti-Slavery International to develop ways to measure progress.
Cocoa Life is based on Mondelēz International’s partnership with Cadbury in Ghana, India and the Dominican Republic, and Cadbury has been investing money in this scheme since 2008. In Ghana, the partnership has already helped to create a 20 per cent increase in cocoa yields and an 80 per cent increase in government-backed development projects between 2009 an 2011.