25 Apr 2018 --- Mondelēz International’s iconic chocolate brand Milka is joining the confectionery giant’s sustainable cocoa sourcing program, Cocoa Life – and there are plans to add the entire Milka chocolate European portfolio by the end of next year.
This means that Milka tablets will begin displaying the Cocoa Life logo on the pack in August and the European portfolio is expected to be involved in the program by year-end 2019.
Cocoa Life is Mondelēz International’s industry-leading sustainable cocoa sourcing program which forms part of the company’s commitment to source all its cocoa sustainably over a period of time.
Adding Milka to Cocoa Life follows other Mondelēz International brands that are sustainably sourced through the Cocoa Life program, including Cadbury Dairy Milk in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland, Côte d’Or in Belgium, the Netherlands and France, Freia and Marabou in the Nordics and Oreo cookies across Europe.
"We’re extremely proud to see Milka, our largest chocolate brand in Europe, join Cocoa Life,” said Hubert Weber, Executive Vice President and President, Mondelēz Europe. “We’re seeing great success with the program and, with this move, we’re taking another big step toward our goal of reaching 200,000 farmers and one million people by 2022.”
Milka stands for quality chocolate and the use of the highest quality ingredients such as Alpine milk. This brand promise is now supported by joining the Cocoa Life program as well as ensuring that no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives are used in the chocolate used in Milka products.
What is Cocoa Life?
Cocoa farmers and their communities face several complex challenges, including productivity which can be hampered because of limited knowledge of farming techniques and limited access to planting materials as well as pests and disease.
There are also several environmental issues like climate change, aging tree and infertile soil. And, on top of this, they often have limited access to education, gender inequality, fewer leadership roles for women and are trapped in a cycle of poverty with a lack of access to finance.
The Cocoa Life aims to change all of this. Its mission is to create a strong cocoa supply chain while transforming lives and livelihoods, addressing deforestation and building resilience to climate change across six cocoa origin countries: Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, India and Brazil.
By the end of 2017, the program reached 120,500 farmers in 1,085 communities and distributed more than one million shade trees as part of a global effort on climate change. Through Cocoa Life, the company also increased its sourcing of sustainable cocoa to 35 percent, up 14 percentage points from 2016.
Independent verification has shown that in Indonesia’s Cocoa Life communities, farmers’ annual income increased 37 percent and cocoa yield 10 percent.
The Cocoa Life program has been fully operational in Indonesia, the world's third-largest cocoa origin and the biggest cocoa origin in Asia, since May 2015.
“As one of the world’s largest chocolate manufacturers, we reach millions of consumers with brands such as Milka,” said Weber. “We want to use this scale to drive positive change for the communities on which we depend, and to work with farmers so we can continue to build strong relationships for the long term.”
“Now more than ever, our consumers care about their food and want to know that what they’re eating is sustainable.”
Mondelēz International has set its ultimate goal of sustainably sourcing all the company’s cocoa supply, mainly via Cocoa Life. It says this can be achieved by working in partnership with farmers, NGOs, suppliers and government institutions.
In January, Mondelēz International signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Forestry Commission of Ghana, Ghana Cocoa Board and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), reinforcing its commitment to reduce emissions in its cocoa supply chain across Ghana.
Through Cocoa Life, the company takes a leading role in implementing projects to deliver the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Program (GCFRP) which aims at tackling deforestation and forest degradation.
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