Mars is guided by its principle of creating "mutual benefits" for partners throughout the supply chain, including farmers. Apart from committing to sourcing only certified cocoa by 2020, Mars has also released an annotated map of the cocoa genome into the public domain and will invest heavily in Côte d'Ivoire and other major cocoa producing countries over the next decade to provide hundreds of thousands farmers with the tools, material and training necessary to dramatically increase yield and, by extension, farmer income.
Michael Nkonu, director of Fairtrade Africa, which represents farmers and producers across Africa, said: "We've been working hard to support and strengthen our networks of Fairtrade certified cocoa farmers in West Africa. Many farmers in the Ivory Coast region are still struggling to re-establish their lives and build up their farms following the recent troubles. This agreement couldn't be more timely, and will help enable a better future for farmers."