Cocoa and coffee farming communities are very important to our business. Since October, we’ve committed $600 million over 10 years through our Cocoa Life and Coffee Made Happy initiatives to build sustainable supplies and thriving communities to benefit millions of people in the developing world.
In addition, we were the world’s largest buyer of Fairtrade Certified cocoa (20,000 tonnes) in 2011 and one of the largest buyers of Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa (15,000 tonnes) as well as the biggest buyer of Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffee (50,000 tonnes). All our European coffee brands are committed to sustainably source 100% of their coffee by 2015.
We are surprised that Oxfam does not acknowledge these investments in its report.
The heart of our Cocoa Life program is our belief that improving the lives of cocoa farmers and protecting the wellbeing of our planet benefits everyone. One of its objectives is empowering cocoa farming families to create the kind of communities they and their children want to live in, while promoting women’s empowerment. As part of our plan, we’re working with third party experts such the United Nations Development Program, World Wildlife Fund and Anti-Slavery International to develop a robust set of principles for success and ways to measure and report our progress.
Our Coffee Made Happy program has a goal to empower one million coffee farming entrepreneurs by 2020.
Oxfam’s scorecard brings attention to several issues that are important to Mondelez International, such as improving the social, environmental and economic conditions for farmers in developing countries. While we’re pleased Oxfam is raising awareness of these issues, we feel their scorecard is a missed opportunity to engage companies in positive change. We can only achieve real change when we work with others. By working together and focusing on our common ground — rather than what we disagree on — we’ll make much better progress toward our common goals.
We are happy to see Mondelez reiterate their public commitment to the people who grow their ingredients. But we are disappointed that they are missing an opportunity to put those words into action. We recognize the many individual projects and commitments that Mondelez has made but these projects are piecemeal at best. Rather than compiling a laundry list of well-known existing projects, Mondelez should respond to Oxfam’s specific request that they commit to an assessment of gender inequality in their cocoa supply chains which would be followed by a plan of action to address the problems. Consumers should ask why Mondelez has avoided answering this question.