- Mondelez International, the manufacturer of such notable confections as Toblerone and Oreos, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Forestry Commission of Ghana, Ghana Cocoa Board and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to reduce emissions in the country's cocoa supply chain.
- The company's sustainable cocoa sourcing program, dubbed "Cocoa Life," equips the company to address deforestation and degradation. Ghana, which provides 20% of the world's cocoa, owns a 3.2% per annum deforestation rate, one of the highest in Africa.
- Mondelez's action plan will include: mapping land usage, introducing smart-climate practices to boost yield and sustainability, improving access to financing for farmers and communities, pushing for legislative and policy reform, and reporting metrics to verify success.
Recent studies have revealed multinational companies are largely dependent on deforestation-linked revenues, which along with cocoa also includes timber, soy and palm oil, totaling $906 billion, according to some sources.
In recent years, companies have demonstrated a significant and public promise toward developing more ethical and sustainable sourcing withing their supply chains.
Food and apparel in particular have been in the spotlight, with companies such as Ralph Lauren, H&M and Zara adopting sustainable practices to reduce their reliance on threatened rain forests.
Ghana, one of the world's primary providers of cocoa, views itself as at risk due to the unsustainable expansion of the cocoa crop within its borders.
The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), a collection of the world's largest companies involved in the cocoa crop — including Mondelez, Hershey, and Mars — established as its mission to halt the deforestation and degradation of the forests. The group recognizes the conflicting challenges of both providing sustainable sourcing as well as sustainable living for the cocoa farmers, and has set among its goals to develop farmer financing opportunities to reduce both cost and risk.
Partnering with governments such as Ghana's to develop public-private partnerships, will also be a key element in long term sustainability. Mondelez has taken the initiative to develop this partnership through its Cocoa Life program, and their influence within the WCF is likely to push forward better practices for the largest companies overall.