Kraft, Nestlé, Mars, Ferrero are among nine companies planning to donate more than €15 million ($19.4 million) toward cocoa sustainability projects.

Specifically, money raised from the participating companies - which also include ADM, Barry Callebaut, Armajaro and Continaf together with Petra Foods (Delfi) - will help fund projects in West Africa and Indonesia, says The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).

IDH is running these projects as part of a broader program, The Cocoa Productivity and Quality Program (CPQP), which seeks to improve the lives of 300,000 cocoa farmers. The program will focus on sustainable methods, including the use of fertilizer as well as professionalization and financing mechanisms.

“The CPQP represents a pathway toward a higher quality of life for thousands of farmers by focusing on innovation and collaboration,” says Peter van Grinsven, cocoa sustainability director at Mars. “Sustainability is essential to our business, and we are proud to support this initiative.”

IDH hopes to increase yields to at least 1,000 kilograms (2,204 pounds) a hectare (2.47 acres).

The first projects in the program run from 2012-2015.

For more information about IDH, visit

- M.K.