Mondelez International Employees Learn And Serve In Cocoa Farming Communities In Ghana

Oct. 12, 2017

DEERFIELD, Ill., Oct. 12, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This month, Mondelēz International will send employees to Ghana for a two-week skills-exchange program to learn about the challenges and opportunities in securing a sustainable cocoa supply, while sharing their diverse business skills with farmers. In its fourth year, the "Joy Ambassadors" program is part of the company's ongoing commitment to grow its impact for people and the planet. The Joy Ambassadors will be visiting communities that are a part of Cocoa Life, the company's holistic, third-party verified program that aims to create a sustainable cocoa supply by transforming the lives of farmers and communities at scale.

"This is a unique opportunity for our colleagues to gain a deeper understanding of the cocoa supply chain and share their business skills to help accelerate the impact of our Cocoa Life sustainability efforts," said Sarah Delea, President of the Mondelēz International Foundation and Senior Director for Well-being and Community Involvement. "Each year, the Ambassadors return with fresh perspectives and energy that helps us grow our people, business and positive impact we have in the world."

This year's Joy Ambassador program focuses on strengthening communities through enhanced partnerships across the cocoa value chain — a critical factor to help build thriving cocoa communities.  As such, the development and delivery of community workshops to build capacity and collaboration among local farmers and stakeholders will be central to the experience.

The Joy Ambassadors offer a wide range of expertise, including research and development, marketing, manufacturing, strategy and finance.  They will host workshops on key topics such as networking and alliance building, planning and organization, coaching and mentoring and managing people and teams. The project is funded by the Mondelēz International Foundation through a partnership with VSO (formerly Voluntary Service Overseas), the world's leading independent international development organization working through volunteers to tackle poverty in developing countries.

The 2017 Class of Joy Ambassadors is:

  • Elisabeth Altenkamp, Information Systems Manager — Germany
  • Jana Majdan Barankova, Manufacturing Section Manager — Austria
  • Ophira Bhatia, Corporate & Government Affairs Director, India & South East Asia - India
  • Jacopo Dellacasa, Biscuits Marketing Manager — Italy
  • Brian Dewerff, Customer Development Director — USA
  • Suzana Drzanic, Human Resources Director — Croatia
  • Kane Jacker, Packaging Senior Manager — Australia
  • Gavin Kaplan, Category Relationship Manager — Australia
  • Michele Lassman, Global Chocolate Strategy Senior Manager — USA
  • Adriane Lima, Chocolate Innovation Section Manager — Brazil
  • Monica Paulsen Ygre, Freia Brand Manager — Norway
  • Marcelo Russo, Chocolate Senior Manager— Brazil
  • Tatiana Situkha, Mondelez Business Services Cluster Manager — Russia
  • Paul Williams, Operations Director— USA

As one of the world's largest chocolate companies Mondelēz International is committed to ensuring a sustainable cocoa supply chain through Cocoa Life. Launched in 2012, the program is investing $400 million USD by 2022 to empower at least 200,000 cocoa farmers and reach over one million community members in six key cocoa-growing origins: Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia, India, the Dominican Republic and Brazil.

The company will highlight the experiences of the Joy Ambassadors on and during and after the journey.  Visit the 2016 Impact for Growth Progress Report to learn more about Mondelēz International's impact strategies and programs.

About Mondelēz International
Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ) is building the best snacking company in the world, with 2016 net revenues of approximately $26 billion. Creating more moments of joy in approximately 165 countries, Mondelēz International is a world leader in biscuits, chocolate, gum, candy and powdered beverages, featuring global Power Brands such as Oreo and belVita biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka chocolate; and Trident gum. Mondelēz International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor's 500, NASDAQ 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit or follow the company on Twitter at

About VSO
VSO (formerly Voluntary Services Overseas) is the world's leading independent international development organization working through volunteers to tackle poverty in developing countries. Since 1958, VSO has mobilized more than 66,000 volunteers, bringing them together with partner organizations, governments, corporations and communities in the developing world to share skills, build capabilities, promote international understanding and ultimately change lives for the better.  VSO works today in 27 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific region focusing largely on health, education and improving livelihoods, with its work benefiting over 2.2 million people in 2016/17. Visit or follow VSO on Twitter at


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