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Inventing, inspiring and investing in the future of Chocolate

Blog post   •   Nov 17, 2016 19:28 GMT

​Glenn Caton, President of Northern Europe at Mondelez International, which is home to iconic brands such as Cadbury, Oreo and Maynards Bassetts

From Glenn Caton, President of Northern Europe at Mondelez International, which is home to iconic brands such as Cadbury, Oreo and Maynards Bassetts.

Without cocoa there is no chocolate. Without the next cocoa farming generation there is no cocoa. This is why we have a long heritage of working closely with our farmers and their communities. It is because of this proud heritage that I am so excited about the next phase of our journey and to be building on Cadbury’s cocoa farming history a century later.

Over a hundred years ago the Cadbury family helped establish cocoa farming in Ghana, beginning a close relationship between farmers and Cadbury. In more recent times, Cadbury launched the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership (CCP) in 2008, started working with Fairtrade in 2009, and more recently evolved and expanded the CCP into the Cocoa Life program.

We are now taking the next step in our journey to sustainable cocoa farming and stepping up our commitment to make an even bigger difference to the lives of cocoa farmers.

Starting in May 2017, we will be expanding our Cocoa Life programme across Cadbury and by 2019, for the first time ever, all Cadbury products in the UK and Ireland will be covered by a single sustainable sourcing programme - Cocoa Life. This means that five times as much Cadbury chocolate in the UK will now be made with sustainably sourced cocoa.

Lovers of our chocolate will start to see the expansion of Cocoa Life from May next year starting in the UK and Ireland and rolling out to other countries around the world from 2018.

I’m also delighted that we will be doing this through a new global partnership between Cocoa Life and Fairtrade, where Fairtrade will become a partner for the whole of the Cocoa Life programme. In the UK and Ireland, instead of the previous arrangement where selected Cadbury Dairy Milk products that are Fairtrade certified carry the FAIRTRADE Mark, the Cocoa Life programme will expand to all of Cadbury, and this partnership between Cocoa Life and Fairtrade will be highlighted with a dual logo on the back of every pack.

From buyer to partner; an industry-leading effort to improve the lives of more cocoa farmers

Many organisations are working hard to improve the lives of farmers and their communities. But much more needs to be done. Cocoa Life aims to help farmers by helping them grow their income and develop their communities, building successful, long-term farming businesses.

We want to use our scale as the world’s largest chocolate maker to help the communities on which we depend. To do this effectively we must move from being just a buyer to a true partner for our cocoa farmers, creating a brighter future for both our farmers and our supply chain.

This is why we are investing $400m in Cocoa Life by 2022, helping to empower 200,000 farmers and reach 1 million people in communities in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, India and Brazil.

A progressive new partnership

Alongside Fairtrade, we have achieved considerable impact for farmers, their families and farming communities, and we are proud to be embarking on this next stage of our journey together.

As we extend Cocoa Life to achieve more for farmers and their communities, Fairtrade will become a partner for the whole Cocoa Life programme, alongside others including VSO, Save the Children and Care International. We’ll work together on new innovative programmes to enhance the future for farming communities, such as building resilience to climate change – which cocoa farmers say is already a key threat to their livelihoods. In addition, we’ll work to develop farmer organisations and, together, enhance the understanding and reporting of the programme’s impact on cocoa farmers, their families and their communities. And we’ll ensure that farmers get a competitive price for their cocoa, on clear terms of trade, and will receive loyalty payments.

To help make sure we are holding ourselves to account and delivering real benefits to our farmers, FLOCERT, which also works as Fairtrade’s independent assurance and certification body, will continue to independently verify the terms of trade of Cocoa Life as the programme grows. This involves tracking volumes of cocoa bought from farmers and loyalty payments to farmers.

You can hear more from Fairtrade’s CEO, Michael Gidney, here [insert link]. Michael shares his thoughts on how, through this partnership with Cocoa Life, Fairtrade is evolving its partnership model in order to extend its reach and, ultimately, benefit more farmers.

Building on Cadbury and Fairtrade’s impact to date

Having worked together in Ghana since 2009, we are proud to have supported farmers to establish strong and thriving farms. This means offering some really tangible benefits such as saving and loan schemes, agricultural tools, and more resilient cocoa trees.

Cocoa Life also works with communities in areas like health services and education. One of the first things we hear when we visit Cocoa Life farms is how the programme has transformed the wider community; it’s amazing to hear the stories of people like Agnes Odupong, a farmer in Adiembra, Ghana, whose children now attend a brand new school, made possible due to a Cocoa Life Community Action Plan.

I take a huge sense of pride in being able to continue an innovative and progressive approach to sustainable cocoa farming and our relationship with our famers and their farming communities. I want people to know that whenever they see a Cocoa Life label it represents thriving cocoa farming communities and makes a real difference to people’s lives.

Visit the Cocoa Life website for updates on how the Cocoa Life expansion is progressing.