DEERFIELD, Ill., Oct. 15, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mondelēz International, the world's largest chocolate company, today announced the expansion of its Cocoa Life program in Côte d’Ivoire. In line with its commitment to empower 200,000 farmers and invest $400 million in Côte d’Ivoire and five other cocoa origins by 2022, Mondelēz International will partner with Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products, and Solidaridad, international development NGO, to scale up the implementing capacity of its holistic Cocoa Life program.
“This new partnership will allow us to quickly double the number of farmers we reach in Côte d’Ivoire in just two years from 2014,” said Cathy Pieters, Director of Cocoa Life at Mondelēz International. “Their complementary expertise will support our objectives of creating thriving cocoa communities while ensuring sustainable cocoa production.”
Barry Callebaut and Solidaridad will work hand in hand on the ground. Barry Callebaut will provide farmers with agricultural training and access to inputs to improve cocoa productivity and incomes, while Solidaridad will work together with the cocoa communities to design tailored community action plans and implement actions to strengthen livelihoods, empower women and promote children’s rights.
“We have had a long-time commitment to sustainability, and as a long-term partner of Mondelēz International, we are extremely pleased to have been selected to support the implementation of their cocoa sustainability programs,” said Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Barry Callebaut. “We will use our strong presence on the ground to help Mondelēz International transform the lives and livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities.”
Cocoa Life’s holistic approach is already making progress in Côte d’Ivoire. Innovative actions like the setting up of Village and Loans Associations promote women’s practical financial literacy and access to lending, while farmer trainings support cocoa productivity and farmers’ incomes.