21 September 2018

Mars launches new sustainability scheme for cocoa supply chain

Mars Wrigley Confectionery launched a new sustainability strategy called "Cocoa  for Generations"

A Farmer examining his cocoa pods

Mars Wrigley Confectionery launched a new sustainability strategy called “Cocoa  for Generations” on Wednesday 19th September 2018. This strategy aims to combat deforestation, child labour and poverty in what it called the “broken” cocoa supply chain.

John Ament, the Global Vice President of Cocoa for the  company, told Reuters in an interview;

“The cocoa supply chain as it works today is broken. It’s time to recognize this and to build a new model and a new approach that focuses on putting the smallholder at the centre.”

He added that “Certification isn’t enough. Our belief is that we need to set more demanding standards than certification sets today.”

This new $1 billion sustainability scheme will be rolled out by the company over a 10 year period. The company will responsibly source their cocoa by 2025. This means all sourced cocoa will fit the company’s internal criteria by having full traceability towards the prevention of deforestation among others.

This is a vast improvement on Mars’ previous commitment to buy 100 per cent certified cocoa by 2020 and it resonates with the company’s move to go beyond certification.

Currently, 50 per cent of all cocoa sourced by the company is certified by schemes like the Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade.

The introduction of this sustainability scheme will result in the use of strategies such as GPS mapping to prevent farming in protected forests as well as combine efforts of certifiers and suppliers in tackling hazardous child labour on plantations through community monitoring and intervention schemes.

According to John, the scheme will also ensure an increase in overall premiums with a bigger share of this going to the farmers.

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