Mars Revamps Chocolate Candy Strategy in West Africa

By CultureBanx Team

  • Mars is investing $1B in cocoa sustainability scheme

  • Ivory Coast and Ghana grow about 60% of the world’s cocoa

The maker of popular candy Snickers and M&M’s wants to pony up more money for responsibly sourced cocoa. The new sustainability scheme will cost the company $1 billion over 10 years, as they try to corral the West African surge in cocoa production.

Why This Matters: Ivory Coast and Ghana grow about 60% of the world’s cocoa and want to regulate global supply to grab more of the profit. Candy makers like Mars usually buy cocoa six months in advance with cocoa accounting for about 20% of the average bar of milk chocolate. Mars wants all the cocoa it buys to be responsibly sourced by 2025. “We’ll see a combination of increased premiums overall and a bigger share of those premiums going to the farmers,” John Ament, global vice president of cocoa told Reuters.

The new sustainability scheme will cost the company $1 billion over 10 years

Just this year Ivory Coast halted the distribution of higher-yielding seed varieties, since there has been a major turnaround in 2018 causing prices to surge up about 25%. Reuters reported Mars’ new strategy aims to boost productivity to help producers diversify crops and improve access to finance.

Situational Awareness: As part of Mars’ overall plan they will work with governments to drive investments in infrastructure and provide communities with an alternative to child labor. In addition, the company will use community monitoring and supplier intervention schemes as a way to tackle child labor on plantations.

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