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.
Cocoa Life is based on Mondelez International's successful Cadbury Cocoa Partnership in Ghana, India and the Dominican Republic. In Ghana, the Partnership has helped create a 20 percent increase in cocoa yields, a 200 percent increase in household incomes and an 80 percent increase in government-backed development projects in the first phases of the project between 2009-2011. The company continues to expand its reach to more communities in Ghana and extended the partnership to the Dominican Republic in 2011. And in India, the company has been working directly with cocoa farmers for 50 years.
Cocoa Life reflects Mondelez International's core values and builds on its previous commitments, including its goal to sustainably source 100 percent of its European coffee by 2015 and its "Coffee Made Happy" initiative to invest at least $200 million to empower one million coffee farming entrepreneurs by 2020.
For more information on Cocoa Life and Mondelez International's efforts, including downloadable photos from its cocoa projects in Ghana, as well as case studies, please visit: http://www.mondelezinternational.com/MediaCenter/country-press-releases/us/2012/Pages/multi_media_11162012.aspx.
About Mondelez International Mondelez International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ) is a world leader in chocolate, biscuits, gum, candy, coffee and powdered beverages. The company comprises the global snacking and food brands of the former Kraft Foods Inc. following the spin-off of its North American grocery operations in October 2012. Mondelez International's portfolio includes several billion-dollar brands such as Cadbury and Milka chocolate, Jacobs coffee, LU, Nabisco and Oreo biscuits, Tang powdered beverages and Trident gums. Mondelez International has annual revenue of approximately $36 billion and operations in more than 80 countries. Visit www.mondelezinternational.com and www.facebook.com/mondelezinternational.
SOURCE Mondelez International, Inc.