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Mars is predicting that there will be a major cocoa shortage by 2020, and reveals a harmonization of global cocoa certification program to ensure meaningful income hikes for farmers is one of its sustainable cocoa project goals.
“Unless more is done to promote sustainability,” warns Mars Chocolate North America, Hackettstown, N.J., “the industry as a whole can expect a shortfall of more than 1 million tons of cocoa in just nine years.”
Pledging to use 100%-certified sustainable chocolate by 2020, Mars says that its new cocoa sustainability drive centers on a technology transfer that puts farmers first; as well as innovations in agricultural science and rigorous certification standards.
Last year, Mars purchased certified cocoa representing about 5% of its overall supply. This year, the company states that it’s on track to buy 10% of its cocoa from certified sources.
Andrew Pederson, global chocolate manager – sustainability at Mars, says that by 2020, Mars intends to acquire 100%-certified cocoa, and is committed to buying 100,000 metric tons annually from both UTZ and the Rainforest Alliance by that time.
Industry efforts can help to mitigate climate change by reducing the overall land footprint taken up by cocoa, Mars comments. While the Ivory Coast “has some added challenges,” Pederson says that Mars is committed to long-term success there, and “the Ivorian government is a key partner for us.”