Cacao farmers produce just 10 percent of the output they could achieve under perfect conditions with best practices. By contrast, corn production has reached 60 percent of its theoretical yield. Good science is needed to ensure healthier, more resilient and more productive cocoa plants. Typically funded by governments, agricultural agencies or universities, research into cacao cultivation has long been under-resourced, receiving far too little research or funding.
We continue to work extensively with universities globally, ICRAF in West Africa, the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, and conduct research at our own centers.
The Mars Center for Cocoa Science
Opened in 1982, the center is a hub for world-class science and collaboration and leads our work on cocoa breeding, agroforestry systems, biodiversity-rich environments and land rehabilitation.
Hacienda La Chola
As one of the world’s leading research farms for cocoa yields and farm management practices, Hacienda La Chola enables Mars to scale up our plant science research and test learnings.
Mars started its journey in Indonesia in 1996 with the establishment of the first foreign cocoa processing factory in Makassar, Sulawesi. The business and factory were expanded in 2012 and it is now home to more than 300 Associates. Mars also has two Cacao Research Centers in Sulawesi where they work on improving the quality and productivity of cocoa in Indonesia by focusing on the breeding of superior clones, integrated pest management, soil management and diversified farming systems.
Collaboration with IBM
One of our proudest accomplishments is our collaboration with IBM and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Center, during which we unraveled the sequencing of cocoa genomes. Since then, scientists worldwide have used that work to develop more resilient and higher.Learn more
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.