Mondelez International and FLOCERT, a socially-focused global certification body, unveil a new partnership to verify cocoa volumes and commercial transactions for the company's $400 million Cocoa Life program. Cocoa Life will work with FLOCERT to employ a tailor-made version of its FLOTIS reporting system to verify the quantity of sustainably grown and traded cocoa and to provide verification of Cocoa Life premium payments made to farmer organizations.
"Cadbury Dairy Milk was the first mainstream chocolate bar to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark," says Cathy Pieters, Cocoa Life Program director. "Now we are delighted to bring a new dimension to our relationship with the Fairtrade family through this partnership between Cocoa Life and FLOCERT. Our aim is to know farmers are benefiting from a healthy supply chain with clear terms of trade, better access to markets, and new ways for their voices to be heard."
Originally developed to monitor Fairtrade certification, FLOTIS enables FLOCERT to support verification programs like Cocoa Life. FLOTIS is a comprehensive monitoring tool that enables transparent transactions reporting and supplies statistical data for its evaluation, thus assuring and facilitating fair trading processes. The contract will run for three years, with an option to extend until 2022.
Cocoa Life is impact-focused and independently verified. The partnership with FLOCERT will provide a system to verify the Cocoa Life supply chain, completing the Cocoa Life verification framework alongside the Harvard University research team evaluating the program impact on the ground, announced in June 2014.
Integrating with Mondelez International's supply chain is key to Cocoa Life. The company's cocoa suppliers help implement Cocoa Life by training farmers to improve productivity and income, and by buying their cocoa. Cocoa farmers will have more confidence as purchase volumes will be agreed upfront each harvest season.
Major cocoa processors such as Barry Callebaut and Cargill agree on the importance of Cocoa Life's verification framework.
"As a cocoa and industrial chocolate supplier to Mondelez International, we have a key role implementing Cocoa Life, alongside non-profit and other partners," says Nicko Debenham, VP Global Cocoa Sustainability, Barry Callebaut. "Verifying Cocoa Life's terms of trade will build farmers' confidence in the program and encourage them to participate."
"Mondelez International is seeking to build closer relationships with cocoa communities by linking cocoa supply with its investment in Cocoa Life," says Taco Terheijden, manager Sustainable Cocoa, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. "As defined in the Cargill approach we rate partnerships and transparency as critical components for a sustainable supply chain. This verification will strengthen our relationship by ensuring benefits flow to farmers."