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Twitter Chat Recap: #Women4Cocoa – Empowering Women in Cocoa Communities

By Marissa Rosen

Mondelēz International, CARE International, Oxfam and TriplePundit discussion the importance of strengthening women’s empowerment in the cocoa sector.

Without cocoa, there’s no chocolate. And without the next generation of cocoa farmers, there’s no cocoa. Women are central to the well-being and sustainability of cocoa-growing communities and the supply chain. Supporting gender equality and empowerment not only helps women to better support their families and contribute to the development of their communities, but ultimately secures the future supply of cocoa by improving its productivity and quality.

In light of recent events such as International Day of the Girl and Solidaridad’s Women in Cocoa & Chocolate (WINCC) conference, Mondelēz International, CARE International and Oxfam are joining forces on this Twitter Chat to raise awareness around the importance and leadership of women in cocoa communities and how gender equality benefits everyone.

As the world's largest chocolate company, Mondelēz International has a unique responsibility to help transform the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities over the long term and is partnering with third-party organizations, such as CARE International, to do so via Cocoa Life. Through Cocoa Life, Mondelēz International is investing $400 million by 2022 to empower 200,000 smallholder farmers and reach 1 million community members in six key cocoa-growing origins (Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Indonesia, India, Brazil and Dominican Republic) – with the ultimate goal to source all cocoa sustainably, mainly through Cocoa Life.

CARE International is working with Cocoa Life to assess and evaluate the program’s efforts on the ground, focusing on women’s empowerment across Cocoa Life’s five key areas (farming, community, livelihoods, youth and environment).

Assessments conducted by CARE International in Côte d’Ivoire and Harvard University in Ghana reveal striking gaps in income and opportunities for women cocoa farmers. Women also struggle with lower farm productivity, less access to land, and less access to financing and farm inputs. CARE International and Mondelēz International are determining ways to address these gaps through Cocoa Life and developed action plans to help women invest in their farms, grow small businesses and diversify income sources.

Women’s empowerment in cocoa farming has also been a key theme in Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign. Oxfam challenged the cocoa sector in 2013 to take specific measures to strengthen the rights of women cocoa farmers. In its report, Oxfam identifies emerging best practices in 10 key areas that support various stages of change with specific outcomes for women farmers and an accompanying transformation of cocoa supply chains.

To reflect the efforts in these priority areas, the report looks at several examples, such as the governance and gender commitments of projects like Mondelēz International’s Cocoa Life partnership with NGOs; Cocoa Life’s work is highlighted across five of the ten priority areas as a best practice.

During #Women4Cocoa, we discussed the following and much more:

  • The importance of collaborative programs and efforts to strengthen women’s empowerment and diversity in cocoa-farming communities.

  • The central role of women cocoa farmers in the sustainability of the supply chain and cocoa-growing communities.

  • Key challenges and issues faced by women in cocoa farms (e.g., gender income gaps, lower farm productivity, less access to land).

  • Emerging best practices to address gender equality in the cocoa sector (e.g., improving access to finance and resources, inclusive tools and technology innovation).



About Mondelēz International

Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ) is a global snacking powerhouse, with 2015 net revenues of approximately $30 billion.  Creating delicious moments of joy in 165 countries, Mondelēz International is a world leader in biscuits, chocolate, gum, candy and powdered beverages, with billion-dollar brands such as Oreo, LU and Nabisco biscuits; Cadbury, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka chocolate; and Trident gum.  Mondelēz International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor’s 500, NASDAQ 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit www.mondelezinternational.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDLZ.  

About Mondelēz International’s Cocoa Life

Mondelēz International is the world’s largest chocolate company. Launched in 2012, Cocoa Life will invest $400 million by 2022 to empower 200,000 cocoa farmers and reach one million community members in six key cocoa growing origins: Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia, India, the Dominican Republic and Brazil. A vibrant cocoa supply chain is essential for the future of chocolate and Mondelēz is leading its transformation by playing an active role in cocoa growing communities and getting directly involved on the ground. Cocoa Life is part of Mondelēz International’s Call For Well-being that brings together its employees, suppliers and community partners to make a positive impact on our world. Visit cocoalife.org to learn more.

About CARE International

Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve education, health and economic opportunity.

About Oxfam

Oxfam is an international confederation of 18 organizations working together with partners and local communities in more than 90 countries. Around the globe, Oxfam works to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. We save lives and help rebuild livelihoods when crisis strikes. And we campaign so that the voices of the poor influence the local and global decisions that affect them.

Marissa Rosen headshot

Marissa is the Owner of Climate Social, LLC. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications from Mizzou and a master's in environmental studies from UPenn. 

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