Global food brands launch sustainable cocoa initiatives

The farm-to-table movement has helped make sustainability more palatable not just to consumers but also to companies, whose eco-friendly practices are proving to be good as good for their bottom line as they are for the earth. Cocoa brands have gotten the message and are launching new sustainability initiatives, giving people yet another excuse to feel good about eating chocolate.


Mondelēz recently announced its committment to using only sustainable cocoa in the production of its Oreo cookies. Moving forward, cocoa will be supplied by farmers from the brand’s Cocoa Life initiative, which aims to support sustainable cocoa production and improve the health, education and welfare of cocoa farmers. The brand also announced its intention to source cocoa for its entire product range sustainably in the future. Cocoa Life currently supports more than 90,000 cocoa farmers worldwide, and Mondelez says that it will invest $400M to extend this to over 200,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, and India by 2020.


The Hershey Company announced the creation of a new sustainable cocoa program called Cocoa For Good. The company will invest up to $500 million by 2030 to help support the program, which will help to address issues such as poverty, vulnerable ecosystems, and poor nutrition among its cocoa farming communities through investments and collaborative programs. One of the core aims is to protect forests and ecosystems through innovative agroforestry methods in order to preserve the cocoa-growing ecosystem in its supply chain.


The Nyonkopa Cocoa Buying Limited, a subsidiary of Switzerland-based Barry Callebaut Group, has initiated a project to support and reward cocoa farmers as part of the implementation of its sustainability program. Dubbed Cocoa Horizons, the program seeks to promote the company's vision of sourcing and processing 100 percent sustainable cocoa globally. It also aims at providing smallholder cocoa farmers with the necessary skills and knowledge to promote wider uptake and adoption towards sustainable intensification for better cocoa livelihoods.