Have you noticed the Cocoa Life sticker on Cadbury slabs? Have you wondered about it?
Well, let me give you the low down and tell you why I’m now looking out for Cocoa Life sticker on chocolate as much as I look out for the Beauty without Cruelty one on beauty products.
So this week I attended a lunch hosted by Mondelēz International (Cadbury) and Cocoa Life , where the Country Lead of Mondelēz International Cocoa Life Programme in Ghana, Yaa Peprah Amekudzi (picture below for name dropping purposes) told us about the amazing work they do. Well she did not call it amazing (she is far too humble for that, but I think it is)
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So inspired by @yaapeprah.amekudzi , country lead for the Cocoa Life Ghana programme, I met her and her husband Daniel today at the @cadbury_sa #cocoalife lunch @no5bymantis – Cocoa Life is a holistic, third-party verified cocoa sustainability program. It is grounded in strengthening cocoa communities and inspiring the next generation of cocoa farmers, keep an eye on the blog for more info
The programme started in 2012 aims to improve the lives of farmers through sustainable farming. This helps them farm in a way that makes cocoa lessens the effect on the environment, now and in the future. It also helps the whole cocoa community with education and other projects to empower them and inspire the next generation of cocoa farmers.
Which I take to mean that we can eat chocolate with less guilt – environmental and social guilt I mean, the calorie guilt needs a whole other programme.
According to Yaa the aim of Cocoa Life is to ensure the cocoa that goes into Cadbury products is ‘made right’.
“Making it right means tackling the complex challenges that cocoa farmers face by working hand-in-hand with the men and women who make their living from cocoa, focusing on where we can make a difference to transform the cocoa sector by inspiring lasting change, rooted in deep understanding, sector-wide collaboration and partnerships.”
I’m told that thanks to training by Cocoa Life, almost 150 000 farmers now know better ways to grow cocoa. They learn skills like spotting crop diseases earlier, taking care of the soil and using chemicals responsibly. New seedlings are replacing old cocoa trees, and new farming technology has been introduced.
Cocoa Life doesn’t stop there. Farming is just one piece of the community puzzle, and the community is the key to truly sustainable ‘good cocoa’. This means the projects include microfinance schemes such as village savings and loans associations. These help farmers – especially women – to set up small businesses to support themselves outside of the cocoa season.
“Currently, approximately 45% of Cadbury chocolate in South Africa is made from Cocoa Life cocoa,” says Tamryn Seopela, Cadbury Tablets Brand Manager for Southern Africa, “and we are planning to make it 100% by 2025!” The Cocoa Life stamp, which can already be found on some Cadbury Dairy Milk slabs, makes it easy for any chocolate lover to support farmers on our continent just by indulging in their favourite snack.
By 2025 all of Mondelez International’s chocolate brands will source their cocoa through the program. Using its scale, deep understanding through our independent, industry-leading impact evaluation and through sector-wide collaboration and partnerships, Cocoa Life aims to lead the transformation of the cocoa sector.
For more information, search #CocoaLife on Facebook and visit the website on www.cocoalife.org