Mondelēz’s Cocoa Life Program is organizing multi-stakeholder working groups to deliver on Produce, Protect, People

Mondelēz’s Cocoa Life program aims to tackle challenges across its cocoa supply chain. The strategy is centered around five focus areas: farming, community, youth, livelihood, and, of course, environment. Through their interventions, Mondelēz realized that deforestation is an important challenge and they cannot address it alone.

Long before the industry expressed its intention to address deforestation in the cocoa supply chain, companies have been implementing programs which also address some environmental challenges. With the publication of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative Implementation Plans for Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, companies now have a clear framework, for which they can base their operational plans.They will use these plans to develop their Company Action Plans. Coordinated by WCF, the companies will deliver their individual plans by the end of 2018. These will then be shared with the government partners and published in early 2019. Each of the companies have initiated the development of their plans, and Mondelez is a good example.

Addressing deforestation requires a global partnership, with companies and governments, working on a common framework of action. That’s why taking part to the discussions and sharing commitment through platforms like the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI) are important: they allow Mondelēz and partners to align on the strategy and work towards common goals.

To facilitate this process, early this year, Mondelēz organized consultative workshops in both Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. This involved a wide range of experts, including supply chain partners, program implementers, monitoring partners and governmental bodies. Together, they mapped different interventions and established three working groups, one for each of the CFI pillars – Sustainable Production and Livelihoods, Protection and Restoration, and Social Inclusion and Community Development. Cocoa Life coordinates the work of each of these working groups, who are responsible for setting targets, timings, and potential partners. All the inputs will be centralized and evaluated internally by the Cocoa Life team, and submitted for feedback to the program’s five external advisors.

The key action that Mondelēz envisions show the alignment between CFI and the company’s Climate Change strategy, which are articulated around three areas and sets of objectives:

  1. Produce: Invest in training farmers on Good Agricultural Practices and infrastructures to increase cocoa yields.
  2. Protect: Map all registered Cocoa Life farms to identify areas at risk with Global Forest Watch, monitor tree cover losses and work towards restoring degraded forests.
  3. People: Provide community members with climate-smart business training and financial support to strengthen their resilience and ensure Community Action Plans prioritize forest protection.

This combined should build on Mondelēz’s track record. By the end of 2017, they trained more than 60,000 farmers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire on Good Agricultural and Environmental Practices, that  when adopted allow farmers to increase their yields without impacting the environment or resorting to deforestation. Along with these trainings, Mondelēz supports farmers through the development of alternative projects and community action plans.

Cocoa Life is also mapping the cocoa farms and distributing shade trees. Over one million shade trees have been distributed in Ghana, and the company has plans for an additional 750,000 in Côte d’Ivoire, over the next three years.