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Mondelez International says it will spend $400 million in the next 10 years on cocoa producers, as it focuses on securing supplies of the main raw ingredient in chocolate. The company, which makes Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolates, says that the investment includes $100 million in the Ivory Coast, which supplies more than one-third of the world's cocoa.
The company, which was created when Kraft Foods Inc. announced in October that it was spinning off its North American grocery business, says it will work with local governments, third-party organizations and cocoa suppliers to increase cocoa yields.
"We're investing in much more than farming," says Bharat Puri, the company's senior vice president for global chocolate operations in a statement. “It's about empowering cocoa communities as a whole so cocoa farming villages become places where people want to live.”
The industry sees a shortage of cocoa coming by 2020 if global demand continues at its current growth rate, which would drive up chocolate prices for consumers.