DEERFIELD, Ill., June 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cocoa Life, Mondelēz International's signature sustainable sourcing program, will collaborate with governments in West Africa to reduce deforestation in the cocoa supply chain. Wednesday, the company announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Côte d'Ivoire's Ministry of Environment as part of the country's REDD+ program to support its goal to reach zero deforestation in cocoa. Cocoa Life has also signed a Letter of Intent with the Forestry Commission of Ghana and the UN Development Programme to establish a REDD+ partnership in Ghana.
"Mondelēz International, through its Cocoa Life program, is leading the cocoa industry to engage on an approach to reduce deforestation in the cocoa supply chain in Côte d'Ivoire," said Jean Paul Aka, Head of National REDD+ Strategy and Private Sector Commitment.
Cocoa Life and Côte d'Ivoire's Ministry of Environment will create a forest protection map, land use plan and tracking system to identify deforestation risks and opportunities to restore forest cover in the Nawa region, which borders the precious Tai National Park. Additionally, Cocoa Life will promote good agricultural practices to enable farmers to improve productivity, adopt agro-forestry systems and free up land for other crops or reforestation.
"The Cocoa Life program in Ghana has contributed immensely to ongoing national efforts to make the cocoa sector economically and environmentally sustainable through the promotion of climate-smart approaches to cocoa farming," said Yaw Kwakye, Head of the Climate Change Unit in Ghana's Forestry Commission. "Spearheading the uptake of innovation and best practices in major cocoa communities in Ghana, the program remains a leader in advancing a new way of cocoa production that addresses deforestation and forest degradation."
"Cocoa farmers and community leaders in West Africa tell us climate change is already impacting their farms," said Chris McGrath, Chief Well-being, Sustainability and Public Affairs Officer at Mondelēz International. "With our investment in Cocoa Life, we have the capacity and the partnerships to help farmers become more resilient by adopting climate-smart solutions and protecting forests. These new agreements will amplify our existing work to protect the precious environment in cocoa-growing regions."
Mondelēz International is a founding member of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative, in which 12 leading cocoa and chocolate companies will work, in partnership with others, to end deforestation in the cocoa supply chain. To read Cocoa Life's position paper on its strategy to protect forests and help farmers and cocoa-farming communities become more resilient, please visit http://bit.ly/2qXOWtM.
About Cocoa Life
Cocoa Life aims to reach more than 200,000 farmers across six countries, benefitting more than a million people. Mondelēz International's ultimate goal is to sustainably source all the company's cocoa supply, mainly via Cocoa Life. By working in partnership with farmers, NGOs, suppliers and government institutions, Cocoa Life answers Mondelēz International's Call For Well-being, which urges employees, suppliers and community partners to join together to develop new approaches that can have a positive impact on the planet and its people. The Call For Well-being focuses on four key areas where the company can make the greatest impact: mindful snacking, sustainability, community and safety. Follow our progress on www.cocoalife.org/progress.
About Mondelēz International
Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ) is building the best snacking company in the world, with 2016 net revenues of approximately $26 billion. Creating more moments of joy in approximately 165 countries, Mondelēz International is a world leader in biscuits, chocolate, gum, candy and powdered beverages, featuring global Power Brands such as Oreo and belVita biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka chocolate; and Trident gum. Mondelēz International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor's 500, NASDAQ 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit www.mondelezinternational.com or follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDLZ.