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World: Mars joins foundation on climate change

Together with non-profit organization ACDI/VOCA, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and global chocolate and cocoa companies such as Mars, the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) will develop a common strategy to address the impact of climate change on cocoa, and find innovations to support farmers to adapt to changing weather patterns.

Mars aim to ensure that cocoa is a sustainable crop that farmers want to continue growing – produced in ways that ensure its long-term availability and deliver mutual benefits among stakeholders.

This is achieved by working to build a sustainable supply chain, innovating to enhance farmers’ prosperity, and scaling up through industry using collaboration and partnership.

With the United States Department of Agriculture, the Mars Center for Cocoa Science in Brazil sequenced and annotated the cocoa genome, enabling scientists and farmers to develop high-yielding, climate-resilient varieties.

This research is publically available so that the whole industry can benefit from climate-proof cocoa.

Through its Vision for Change Project, the company has set up a network of Cocoa Development Centers (CDCs) and Cocoa Village Centers (CVCs) in key cocoa-growing regions.

CDCs serve as a distribution and training hub for farmers to learn about climate-resilient agriculture; while CVCs sell fertilizer and high-quality planting materials.

Increasing farmers’ yields and incomes can lead a more profitable, professional cocoa sector; resulting in greater investment into improved planting materials and research to combat climate change.