Next time you buy a chocolate, look out for the Cocoa Life logo …which from now on will be (very proudly) displayed on all Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate slabs sold in South Africa.
What’s it all about? Well Cocoa Life is Mondelēz International’s global cocoa sustainability program … and just as the Cadbury brothers did more than 100 years ago, the program works on the ground, hand-in-hand with the men and women who grow cocoa, Cadbury Dairy Milks’ chocolate’s essential ingredient.
A little more than 70 per cent of the world’s cocoa is grown by West African farmers, with the Ivory Coast accounting for around 40 per cent, and Ghana around 20. Most of these farms responsible for the world’s cocoa supply are family-owned and are small … we’re talking less than 2ha in size. Farmers struggle with productivity … with many having seen their yields fall over the last few decades. There are a variety of factors, including farming being left to older members of the family as younger generations are drawn to the attractions of city life; farmers clinging to traditional farming methods; diseases which have ravaged cocoa plants; and the far-reaching implications of climate change.
Which doesn’t look good for those of us chocoholics. Hello Mondelēz International, who in 2012 committed $400 million to Cocoa Life over 10 years to help build a thriving cocoa supply chain, by increasing cocoa productivity and empowering local cocoa farming communities to improve their resilience. Today, Cocoa Life grows opportunities for more than 142,000 cocoa farmers and 1,400 communities. The program focuses on the areas it can make the most difference … turning cocoa into a business of choice, creating inclusive and empowered communities and conserving and restoring forests. They support the farmers to grow more cocoa from less land while the communities they live in are empowered to steer their own development. Village saving and loans associations provide the opportunity for farming families – especially women – to use the funds for a broad range of investments, including the purchase of fertilizers, start-up capital for new businesses, expansion of existing businesses, starting new cocoa farms, rehabilitating old cocoa farms, and hiring labourers.
‘Cocoa is the essence of our chocolate and vital to our business, so we need to ensure it is ‘made right’, says Yaa Peprah Amekudzi, Country Lead of Mondelēz International Cocoa Life Program in Ghana. ‘Making it right means tackling the complex challenges cocoa farmers face, including climate change, gender inequality, poverty and child labour. Choosing the Cocoa Life logo means everyone can love our chocolate as much as we do, because it’s made the right way.’ And by 2025, all of Mondelez International’s chocolate brands will source their cocoa through the program.
Right now, make sure you choose to buy the chocolate bar the carries the logo … enjoy your Cadbury’s slab.
For more information, visit #CocoaLife on Facebook and visit the website on www.cocoalife.org.