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Mars believes that only way to truly change the cocoa world is to work with others — even if it means working with its competitors.
The chocolate company invested $30 million in sustainable cocoa efforts in 2011, and they plan to continue to invest at least that much every year through 2020. But they know that that isn’t enough to truly change things.
In a press release, Mars says that creating a sustainable cocoa sector that can meet the industry’s long-term demand for cocoa, will require billions of dollars and lots of industry cooperation.
The money is need to fund agricultural investments, research, third-party certification and technology for a significant portion of the world’s five to six million cocoa farmers.
Andrew Harner, Mars' Global Cocoa v.p., says everybody in the industry will have to do their part and that the efforts are pre-competitive, which means the entire industry can benefit from the efforts.
“We are eager and willing to work with others in the industry who are pursuing sustainability initiatives," he says.
The announcement coincides with the publication of Mars' second annual Principles in Action summary, which details the company's approach to business and its commitment to put its Five Principles into action to make a difference to people and the planet through its performance.