DEERFIELD, Ill., Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Mondelez International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ) today unveiled "Cocoa Life" – the company's largest, most comprehensive cocoa sustainability effort to date. As the world's largest chocolate company, it will invest $400 million over the next ten years to improve the livelihoods and living conditions of more 200,000 cocoa farmers and about one million people in cocoa farming communities. Cocoa Life will bring a $100 million new investment to Cote d'Ivoire -- the world's largest cocoa producing country -- to help 75,000 farmers double their productivity.
"I'm proud of Mondelez International's $400 million investment in Cocoa Life -- a distinctive, holistic approach to cocoa sustainability that will create a cycle of growth from bean to bar," said Tim Cofer, Executive Vice President and President, Europe, speaking from Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire at the World Cocoa Conference. "Our mission is to create thriving cocoa communities and help secure the future of the cocoa industry."
Cocoa Life will collaborate with governments, civil society and suppliers with a mission to transform the cocoa supply chain. The company is already working with third party experts such the United Nations Development Program, World Wildlife Fund and Anti-Slavery International to develop a robust set of principles for success and ways to measure progress."At the heart of Cocoa Life is our belief in improving the lives of cocoa farmers," said Bharat Puri, Senior Vice President, Global Chocolate. "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's approach is to create win-win relationships and benefit farming communities by working with partners in four key ways:
- Farming: helping farmers improve their yields and livelihoods to earn larger incomes.
- Community: empowering cocoa farming families to create the kind of communities they and their children want to live in, while promoting gender equality.
- Youth: working towards eliminating child labor by helping communities tackle its root causes. Making cocoa farming a more attractive profession for the next generation.
- Environment: protecting the landscapes in which cocoa is grown to maintain eco-systems and provide viable environments and farming land for future generations.