Answers to frequently asked questions

What is Cocoa Life?

Cocoa Life is Mondelēz International’s global cocoa sustainability program. Cocoa is the essence of our chocolate and vital to our business, so we need to ensure it is ‘made right’.

Making it right means tackling the complex challenges that cocoa farmers and their communities face, including climate change, gender inequality, poverty and child labor.

Cocoa Life is addressing these challenges holistically across six cocoa-growing countries: Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, India and Brazil. We work on the ground, hand-in-hand with the men and women who make their living from cocoa, focusing on where we can make a difference: turning cocoa into a sustainable business, creating inclusive and empowered communities and conserving and restoring forests.

In doing so, Cocoa Life is growing opportunities for cocoa farmers and their families, by tackling all of these problems together. We are investing $400m over 10 years to empower 200,000 cocoa farmers and improve the lives of more than one million people in cocoa communities.

How many Mondelēz International brands source cocoa through Cocoa Life?

Currently, nine Mondelēz International chocolate brands are part of Cocoa Life: CADBURY DAIRY MILK, CÔTE D’OR, MILKA, FREIA, DAIM, GREEN & BLACK’S, SUCHARD, MARABOU and LACTA BRAZIL. The GREEN & BLACK’S brand covers Cocoa Life cocoa volume for the brand’s velvet range. The LACTA brand in Brazil covers Cocoa Life volume for the LACTA INTENSE range.

By the end of 2025, this will extend to all Mondelēz International chocolate brands. This is an important step for our brands, as it will ensure their cocoa volume is sustainably sourced, while also bringing them closer to their consumers.

What makes the Cocoa Life program different?

As one of the world’s largest cocoa sustainability programs, we can create a positive impact at scale. There are many organizations doing great work in cocoa growing communities – but what differentiates us is that we focus on tackling the root causes of the complex challenges cocoa farmers face, holistically. We don’t fix one problem only to create another.

We have teams on the ground who work hand-in-hand with cocoa farmers and their families to empower them to make cocoa farming a sustainable business. Our teams help build communities so they can take on their own development, while conserving the land and forests.

We also have a network of expert partners, such as supply chain partners, cocoa farming organizations and external advisors, who help us deliver this program and work with governments to help create the right environment for change. For years we have engaged independent third parties to verify our supply chain to understand the impact of our actions, so we can work to continuously improve our program to meet farmers’ needs.

What are the benefits of Cocoa Life?

We created Cocoa Life to help grow opportunities for cocoa farmers and communities, consumers and the Mondelēz business by working to achieve the following benefits:

For cocoa farmers and cocoa growing communities:
  • Cocoa Life registered farmers and their families are better equipped to thrive and improve their livelihoods with the aim of making cocoa a sustainable business, leading to financial security for the farmers and their communities. Learn more about our progress FLOCERT (the global certifier for Fairtrade) and Ipsos (a third party research agency) to independently verify and measure our progress and keep us on track.

    FLOCERT traces and verifies the flow of cocoa from Cocoa Life communities into the supply chain. It also confirms that our cocoa farmers are receiving the benefits of the program, such as premium payments. Verification provides transparency and enables us to quantify Cocoa Life’s impact on farming communities.

    Ipsos works on the ground to measure our program and the impact we have. It looks at 10 key performance indicators – such as cocoa yield and reduction in child labor – to assess whether we’re creating the right change in these areas. We see this step as crucial for understanding the benefits our program creates and helping us to learn where we can improve.

What is the role of partnerships within Cocoa Life?

We believe partnerships are key to a holistic approach and lasting change. We work with governments, non-government organizations, supply chain partners and communities to leverage expertise, networks and ensure effective roll-out of Cocoa Life on the ground.

In origin countries, we partner with NGOs like CARE International, Fairtrade, Voluntary Services Oversees (VSO), World Vision, Swisscontact, Solidaridad and Save the Children. All these NGOs have extensive experience and work with cocoa communities to assess their needs and develop the action plans against which we invest through Cocoa Life. We work closely with our cocoa suppliers – the manufacturers who process our cocoa such as Barry Callebaut, Olam and Cargill – who have valuable on-the-ground expertise and existing relationships with cocoa farming communities. We also work with government cocoa ities at origin to support farmer training, cocoa research, and promote more sustainable practices across the cocoa sector.

For more information visit: /the-program/partners

What are the key challenges that the cocoa industry faces, and why haven’t they been solved yet?

We want to ensure cocoa is ‘made right’, with respect to people and planet. Cocoa Life is investing directly in tackling the root causes of challenges, including climate change, gender inequality, poverty and child labor.

These challenges are complex, and there are no quick or easy solutions, which is why our program takes a holistic approach.

We focus our efforts on the three areas where we can make the most difference: sustainable cocoa farming businesses; empowered cocoa communities; conserved and restored forests. (More here.)

Crucially, we believe that cross-sector collaboration and partnership is key to lasting change. That’s why we work with governments, non-government organizations, supply chain partners and communities to leverage their expertise, networks and ensure that the program is effectively rolled out on the ground.

We are proud of Cocoa Life’s progress and impact in cocoa communities and are committed to continuing our efforts in order to ensure the cocoa volumes for all Mondelēz International’s chocolate brands are sourced from the program by 2025.

This page was last updated in March 2020.