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Cocoa Research & Science

In theory, cocoa farmers could produce in excess of four metric tons per hectare under perfect conditions with best practices. However, limited research dedicated to cocoa and inefficient technology transfer to farmers – especially in the areas of combatting pests and diseases – contributes to farmers producing just one-fifth to one-half of the output they could theoretically achieve.

Mars believes its research efforts can help boost the productivity of the farmers we depend on by further encouraging greater funding into cacao research.

Today, Mars is working hard to change that through innovative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) research – with input from the Genetics, Breeding and Agronomy disciplines – focused on interventions to help mitigate the spread of the most significant pests and diseases threatening cocoa. 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.

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Our work is led by a network for Mars research farms

The Mars Center for Cocoa Science

Bahia, Brazil

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.

Mars La Chola

Guayaquil, Ecuador

Mars 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.

Cocoa Research Centers Sulawesi

Sulawesi, Indonesia

Cocoa Research Centers Sulawesi

Mars 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.

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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.

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Cocoa for Generations 2021 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.

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More about our progress towards sustainable cocoa

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