Cadbury chocolate maker, Mondelēz International has promised to spend an extra $600 million (£518M) by 2030 to fight child labour, farmer poverty, and deforestation in cocoa.
The investment begins the next phase of Cocoa Life, an initiative that focuses on improving cocoa farmer livelihoods while addressing environmental and social challenges in the supply chain. The program works with communities across six key cocoa-growing origins: Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, India, the Dominican Republic and Brazil.
“As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Cocoa Life, we are excited to announce the next phase,” said Christine Montenegro McGrath, senior vice president and chief impact and sustainability officer at Mondelēz International. “While progress and impact have been made, cocoa farmers and their communities are still facing big challenges.”
In the decade since the program began, Mondelez says it has already committed £346M and worked with over 200,000 farmers to increase net incomes by 15% in Ghana and 33% in Cote d’Ivoire. Other achievements include 61% of Cocoa Life communities in West Africa being covered with Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems.
The new investment takes the company through to 2030, and will further support efforts to combat child labour, farmer poverty and deforestation in cocoa.
“As one of the world’s leading snacking companies, it is a priority to continue making our most important ingredients, such as cocoa, right, and Cocoa Life sits at the heart of this strategy,” said Dirk Van de Put, chairman & CEO, Mondelēz International.
Like many other confectionery makers, Mondelez began working with Fairtrade in 2016 to make sure that farmers were paid fairly for their ingredients and were ethically sourced. But rates of forest destruction, poverty, and child labour in cocoa are still high after more than a decade.
Mondelez is calling for more sector-wide collaboration and public-private partnership to help address systemic challenges and improve farmer livelihoods.
Working with the Science Based Targets initiative’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C, Mondelez has set a net zero greenhouse gas emissions goal across its full-value chain by 2050.
Earlier this year, the company released its 2021 ESG report, highlighting that scope 1 and 2 emissions decreased by 21% compared to 2018 levels and that the total amount of electricity used in owned operations from renewable energy sources increased by 32%.
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