Through the Cocoa Life program, Cargill and Mondelēz International work to build a responsible cocoa supply chain across the globe.
Worldwide demand for cocoa is growing. Unlike other major crops used in the global food supply, cocoa is still mostly produced on small, family-run farms. Many of these farms struggle with aging, unproductive trees and limited access to modern harvesting techniques, financial resources and marketing practices. Cocoa farming has not seen a significant increase in productivity in the last few decades.
To change the pattern, Cargill and global food manufacturer Mondelēz International partnered in an innovative program, designed to bring new opportunities to smallholder farmers, and to equip them with the knowledge and resources they need to increase their productivity and, in effect, their incomes.
Mondelēz’s Cocoa Life program was a comprehensive, US $400 million effort to develop sustainable cocoa production in West Africa, the Asia-Pacific and other key regions. Cocoa Life aimed to create empowered farmers in thriving cocoa communities by focusing on farming, communities, livelihoods, youth and environment. As the number-one chocolate company, Mondelēz International’s goal was to ultimately source all its cocoa sustainably.
In 2012, Cargill launched the Cargill Cocoa Promise, an expression of the company’s commitment to improving farmer incomes, community engagement and farm support in South America, Africa and Asia. Sharing similar goals, Mondelēz International partnered with Cargill to launch a joint program that same year in Côte d’Ivoire, and another in Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 2014.
“Creating a sustainable cocoa program is only possible with teamwork.” — Mbalo Ndiaye, Country Lead, Mondelēz International Cocoa Life Program
Today, the relationship between Mondelēz International and Cargill is an example of how the Cocoa Life program builds upon supply chain partnerships. These partnerships are vital for sharing best practices, operating sustainably, building synergy and leveraging a broad range of capabilities.
By 2022, the Cocoa Life program will empower more than 200,000 farmers across six countries, providing benefits to more than one million people. The initiative has become an integrated part of Cargill’s and Mondelēz’s business plans, strengthening their shared commitment to improving the livelihoods of farmers, and ensuring a sustainable future for cocoa.