Cocoa for Generations puts cocoa farmers first

At Mars we’ve been making chocolate and buying cocoa for more than 100 years, putting cocoa at the heart of our company’s long heritage. Four decades have been spent working in collaboration with others to achieve sustainable cocoa production. Cocoa is an integral ingredient in our beloved chocolate products and we know a sustainable cocoa sector is essential to ensure we can continue to provide chocolate for future generations of chocolate lovers.

This means creating a cocoa sector where human rights are respected, the environment is protected and everyone, especially cocoa farmers, has the opportunity to thrive. For the latest updates on our progress to create a more inclusive, modern and sustainable cocoa supply chain that benefits both people and the planet, we invite you to read our 2020 Cocoa for Generations report: Reshaping the Future of Cocoa.    

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We’re working to achieve sustainable cocoa production

We’ve made progress in tackling the environmental and social challenges facing the cocoa sector.

However, we recognize today’s cocoa supply chain does not deliver on our ambition for everyone along the chain to have the opportunity to thrive. The cocoa supply chain is broken, and current interventions are not enough to fix it. It was this realization, together with our company’s commitment to create mutual benefits for all as outlined in our Sustainable in a Generation Plan, which led us to launch our Cocoa for Generations strategy in 2018.

Backed by a $1 billion investment over 10 years, Cocoa for Generations has two pillars: Responsible Cocoa Today and Sustainable Cocoa Tomorrow.Placing the interests of the smallholder farmer at its center, Cocoa for Generations is how we aim to step-change efforts and invite the cocoa sector to partner with us in a new approach to protect children, preserve forests and increase farmer income today, while creating a pathway for a sustainable cocoa supply chain of tomorrow that empowers cocoa farmers, their families, and communities to thrive.

Mother and child from a cocoa farming community.

Protect children

Protect children

Protecting children and empowering women and communities
are pivotal to a thriving cocoa supply chain. Our Strategic Approach to Protecting Children in Cocoa Farming Communities sets out how we identify, prevent and mitigate human rights issues — with a focus on
child and forced labor in our extended cocoa supply chain —
through comprehensive human rights due diligence processes as
well as community-based investments that help tackle the root
causes of these complex issues. In all this work, we aim to put
cocoa farmers and communities at the center of our efforts.

The edge of a tropical rainforest.

Preserve forests

Preserve forests

Forests serve as important reservoirs of carbon, and the clearance of primary forest cover causes serious increases in greenhouse gas emissions. Forests also provide habitat for half of all known plant and animal species, regulate local rainfall patterns and provide livelihoods for millions of people in rural communities. Our aim is to achieve a deforestation free supply chain for cocoa we source by 2025. We want to help farmers grow more cocoa on existing farmland without further expansion of land use. Our focus is on traceability and polygon mapping of the farms in our supply chain.

A cocoa farmer harvesting cocoa fruit.

Improve farmer income

Improve farmer income

Boosting cocoa farmer income while ensuring cocoa is grown sustainably is key to a thriving cocoa sector that benefits people and the planet. We support all efforts to work together and achieve a sustainable cocoa sector. We need a system that ensures a higher amount of the money paid through premiums reaches the farmers. Transparency is key to making this a reality.

We cannot achieve these ambitions alone

At Mars, we’re ready to take a new approach that creates a pathway for cocoa farmers, their families and their communities to thrive. Cocoa for Generations is our contribution and we want others to join us in the development of effective, scalable and innovative solutions. We commit to two pillars of work – Responsible Cocoa Today and Sustainable Cocoa Tomorrow - through which we will step up our efforts to increase smallholder farmer income, protect children and preserve forests today, while working to crack the code on a model for modern sustainable cocoa farming for tomorrow.  

To achieve this in the cocoa supply chain, we must drive change at a large scale, work in partnership with others who share or support our vision, and also challenge ourselves and others to look for new models and opportunities to lead the way. We welcome collaboration from civil society, governments, academics and other industry players. 

Built on the foundations of the Mars’ global Human Rights Policy, Deforestation Policy and Supplier Code of Conduct, the Cocoa for Generations strategy is the collective approach to how these policies will be implemented across our cocoa supply chain.

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Responsible cocoa today

Ensure 100% of our cocoa is responsibly sourced globally and is traceable by 2025. Going beyond the current level of certification standards and practices and committing us to action across three focus areas that put cocoa farmers, communities and the environment at the center of our efforts. By changing what and how we implement, we aim to improve conditions for all the farmers from whom we source and will actively engage the industry, governments and civil society to advance these focus areas across the cocoa sector.

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Sustainable cocoa tomorrow

Deploy at scale the initiatives we have identified as most likely to accelerate the modernization of the cocoa sector. Our ambition is to demonstrate that a step-change in farmer income and livelihoods is possible and by doing so we hope to show the path for others so together we transform the whole sector.

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Cocoa research and science

Good science is needed to ensure healthier, more resilient and more productive cocoa plants. Cacao farmers produce just 10 percent of the output they could achieve under perfect conditions with best practices. Mars believes its research efforts can help boost the productivity of the farmers we depend on by further encouraging greater funding into cacao research.

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Cocoa for Generations 2020 report

Mars Takes Action on Sustainable Cocoa Production

Mars has been buying cocoa to make our chocolate brands for over a century, putting this integral ingredient at the heart of our company’s heritage. For four decades we have partnered with others to work towards our goal of more sustainable cocoa production. We know that a truly sustainable cocoa sector is essential if we are to continue to provide chocolate for future generations of chocolate lovers. Our ambition is to create an environmentally sustainable supply chain where everyone, especially cocoa farmers, has the opportunity to thrive and human rights are respected.

We are committed to taking action to drive transformational change that makes a lasting impact across the entire cocoa supply chain, unlocking opportunities for farmers, their families and their communities. We believe that through Cocoa for Generations and our wider environmental stewardship, we have a chance to do that, and are pleased to share our progress.

2020 Cocoa for Generations Report

Track our progress toward more sustainable cocoa production. Download our PDF report.

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More about our progress towards sustainable cocoa

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