Facing the prospect of a global shortfall in cocoa production of one million tonnes by 2020, Mars Chocolate has implemented a worldwide sustainability initiative, working with the five million smallholders who grow the majority of the world’s cocoa – “putting farmers first” to increase yield. 

Mars’ programme is built around a pledge, made in 2009, to purchase the entirety of its cocoa supply from certified sustainable sources by 2020. 

“Significant progress” has been made in the three years since – 10% of cocoa purchased was certified sustainable in 2011 and forecasts show 2012 will see the firm exceed its goal of 20% for the year. 

Making the announcement that nearly 90,000 tonnes of certified cocoa will be bought this year, Mars says: “We believe certification is the best tool industry has to support effective extension services to reach as many of the world’s five to six million cocoa farmers as possible and provide them with the material support and organization they need to be successful.” 

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