By Andrew Clarke, Global President Mars Wrigley
Mars Wrigley has proudly delivered iconic treats and snacks for more than 100 years, including consumer-favorite brands like M&M’S®, GALAXY®, SNICKERS®, MARS Bar® and more. But the legacy we want to leave extends beyond the bars and the bite-sized snacks we make. We strive to serve a deeper purpose, inspiring moments of happiness for millions of people around the world.
Cocoa is critical to that mission. It is a raw material at the core of the chocolate brands our consumers enjoy. But it’s more than that – it is essential to thousands of farmers in cocoa growing communities who depend on this fragile crop to earn a living.
Today, too many cocoa farmers continue to face a myriad of challenges: from poverty to child labor and deforestation. The impacts of climate change and global crises are exacerbating existing vulnerabilities across cocoa farming communities and beyond.
As one of the world’s largest buyers of cocoa, we have a responsibility to drive positive, long-lasting, systemic impact to support the farmers and communities in our supply chain. It’s imperative we make socially responsible choices, to help pave the way toward a more inclusive, modern, and sustainable cocoa supply chain.
This means being a trusted partner for the benefit of the families and individuals in cocoa farming communities, investing in their success and wellbeing, and striving to positively impact the environment in which we operate.
Enabled by our Cocoa for Generations (C4G) strategy, we are accelerating the transformation of the cocoa supply chain to benefit both people and planet and challenging the entire sector to adopt approaches that deliver impact where it matters most.
In April 2022, we launched two ground-breaking programs that aim to support 14,000 smallholder farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and Indonesia on a path to a sustainable living income by 2030.
Now, Mars is announcing two notable milestones in our C4G strategy.
Unlocking opportunities for women. In collaboration with CARE, the Mars Women for Change program has reached more than 77,000 members in cocoa farming communities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, through its Village Savings and Loans Association program. This effort has supported more than 55,000 women, resulting in over $7.4 million in collective savings and over $3.7 million in loans distributed.
Tackling Deforestation. Mars is on its way to achieving a deforestation- and conversion-free supply chain for 100% of the cocoa it sources by 2025.
While we have much more work to do, we are making meaningful progress. To learn more, visit our 2021 Cocoa for Generations Report.