How you are making a difference, by eating Cadbury! #CocoaLife
July 30, 2019
And I don’t mean to your hip size! A real difference….to real people, their families and their lives. Cadbury is a brand I hold near and dear to my heart….I love their chocolate and it’s the only chocolate that my mother eats. No jokes! My uncle also worked for Cadbury for years… I loved going over to their house, because there was ALWAYS chocolate in their house! It’s what we grew up eating…so this post fills me with such nostalgia. *insert heart emoji* Now I’m told….eat the Cadbury that you love so much and also change lives?? Basically sounds like I can be a superhero just by eating chocolate right? Let me tell you how this is possible!
Where does chocolate come from?
I’m going to be honest…I have NEVER thought about where chocolate comes from. When the craving for Cadbury hits, I go to Spar, and it’s on the shelf. I know they use a glass and a half….what they mix that glass and a half with, I don’t really know. Well until now. Chocolate’s most essential ingredient…is COCOA! Not the powder you get in a tin either, but cocoa beans! Mind blown…I know! Over 70% of the world’s cocoa is grown by West African farmers, mostly in family-owned farms. Unfortunately, many farmers have seen their crops dwindle over the last few decades. There are many reasons…climate change though, being a big one.
Disease, too, has played its part in decimating cocoa plantations. Also a challenge, is the lack of access to new farming methods and technologies – and, sometimes, an unwillingness to implement them.
Introducing the Cocoa Life Programme
“Essentially, the aim of Cocoa Life is to ensure the cocoa that goes into Cadbury products is ‘made right’,” says Yaa Peprah Amekudzi, Country Lead of Mondelēz International Cocoa Life Programme in Ghana. “Making it right means tackling the complex challenges that cocoa farmers face by working hand-in-hand with the men and women who make their living from cocoa, focusing on where we can make a difference to transform the cocoa sector by inspiring lasting change, rooted in deep understanding, sector-wide collaboration and partnerships.”
Cadbury has been Fairtrade certified since 2009, but they want to do better. Chocolate with a conscience. I mean….does it get better than that? Established in 2012, the Cocoa Life programme aims to improve the lives of these farmers by directly contributing to sustainable farming and responsible sourcing. Thanks to training by Cocoa Life, almost 150 000 farmers are now equipped to grow cocoa more effectively. The vital skills they learn include identifying crop diseases earlier, how to manage the soil and use chemicals responsibly. In addition, old cocoa trees are being replaced with new seedlings and new farming technology has been introduced to improve productivity and profitability.
We were fortunate enough to be hosted by Cadbury recently where we got a chance to meet Yaa Peprah Amekudzi. Yaa told us about the challenges they face in Ghana, not just w.r.t cocoa and farming. Farming is just one piece of the community puzzle, and the community are the key to truly sustainable ‘good cocoa’. This holistic approach extends its initiatives to microfinance schemes such as village savings and loans associations. These provide farmers – especially women – with the opportunity to set up small businesses to support themselves outside of the cocoa season. A dash of women empowerment anybody?
Yaa also told us that child labour is a real problem. Children are walking for kilometres to get to school through the forest and by the time they get to school, they’re exhausted. As a result, they simply drop out, and work on farms. This honestly broke my heart. So child labour is also something the Cocoa Life programme is aiming to tackle.
How are you making a difference?
Simple….. #EatAllTheChocolate! Well, the one with the green ‘Cocoa Life’ stamp that is! As of writing, 45% of Cadbury chocolate in South Africa is made from Cocoa Life cocoa – and they are planning to make it 100% by 2025! The Cocoa Life stamp, which will be on all Cadbury Dairy Milk slabs from July 2019, makes it easy for any chocolate lover to support farmers on our continent just by indulging their favourite snack.
More information about Cocoa Life and their initiatives around the world can be found on their website, www.cocoalife.com.
So, which slab are you heading out to buy first? My mom picked up a mint top deck for me this weekend and I was so excited when I saw the green stamp….I was like…go me! I ate that chocolate….with a smile 😉