Mars Wrigley Confectionery launched a new sustainability strategy on Wednesday, September 19th, one which aims to address what has been described as a ‘broken’ cocoa mode.
Mars Wrigley Confectionery stated that “It’s time to recognize this (problem) and to build a new model and a new approach that focuses on putting the smallholder at the center,” said Mars’ global vice president of cocoa, John Ament, in an interview with Reuters.
The problem which Amnet refers to is the supply chain of cocoa, which is fraught with innumerable problems ranging from fair trade to human rights.
Mars, who make a range of beloved confectionery items including Snickers bars and M&Ms, have pledged to spend $1 billion in the next 10 years to ensure that all of their cocoa is ethically and responsibly sourced. A goal of complete integration of these new measures by 2025 has been set in place.
“This means the cocoa will fit the company’s internal criteria – including full traceability to ensure it doesn’t contribute to deforestation – and carry a stamp of approval from a third-party verifier.
Mars had previously committed to buying 100 percent certified cocoa by 2020. However, the company is now looking to move “beyond certification”, which has not delivered the impact the company had hoped for, according to Ament.”
“Certification isn’t enough. Our belief is that we need to set more demanding standards than certification sets today. We’ll see a combination of increased premiums overall and a bigger share of those premiums going to the farmers,” – John Ament, Mars Wrigley Confectionery.
The Reuters report added:
“The company’s new strategy also involves measures aimed at ensuring long-term sustainability, which will be rolled out across 75,000 farming families and suppliers. These will aim to boost productivity, help producers diversify crops and improve access to finance.
“We’re convinced that these farmers need a broader source of income to ensure that they have a resilient model, with income spread throughout the year rather than just two peak seasons of cocoa,” Ament said.”
The candy store may just have become a little sweeter as a result of these measures.