- Leading chocolate maker and largest cocoa supplier aim to strengthen sustainable cocoa sourcing in Indonesia
- 2,000-hectare cocoa farming model of the future to restore environmental productivity, improve farmer livelihoods and empower local communities
Chicago and London
Mondelēz International, Inc. (Nasdaq: MDLZ), a global leader in snacking, and Olam Food Ingredients (ofi), a leading supplier of cocoa beans and cocoa ingredients, have today announced a new collaboration in Indonesia to create the world’s single largest sustainable commercial cocoa farm. The model builds on Mondelēz International’s experience with the company’s signature sustainable sourcing program, Cocoa Life, and ofi’s ambition for sustainable cocoa, Cocoa Compass, to test a scalable approach for the future of commercial cocoa farming.
From sensors in fields to irrigation systems, the project will use advanced climate smart and plant science technology – rarely used to grow cocoa at this scale – as innovations included in this 2,000-hectare cocoa farm on Seram, the largest island in Maluku province in Indonesia. The model tests a modernised and professional blueprint for best practice cocoa farming, optimal land usage and farming community planning which will be explored as a potential model for replication across the region.
Demand for cocoa is growing across Asia, which is set to become the second largest consuming region of cocoa ingredients in the world. Indonesia is a key cocoa-producing country in the region, but farmers have struggled with rising temperatures, low yields and crop disease. Combining their respective expertise in cocoa growing research and development, sustainable cocoa farm management, and good agricultural practices, Mondelēz International and ofi will tackle these problems by improving the livelihoods of partner cocoa farmers, empowering communities and restoring the environmental productivity of a previously deforested landscape.
The partnership aims to deliver:
- The creation of 700 jobs for local residents in an area which has limited income opportunities due to its isolated location. Nearly half of these employment opportunities will go to women.
- 2,000 hectares of previously deforested brown field land, which will be planted with cocoa, shade trees, forest and fruit trees to promote biodiversity and carbon capture. More than 1,080 hectares have already been planted across the total plantation area of 3,380 hectares.
- An area of 47 hectares which has been identified as High Conservation Value forest and is being fully protected as a vital habitat for flora and fauna.
- A seedling nursery which can grow up to one million high-yielding cocoa seedlings each year.
- Access to healthcare and education for all employees and their families, as well as housing, electricity, water, day care for the 200 families who live on site.