Cocoa Life – Helping Farmers to Grow

Cocoa Life

Cadbury Dairy Milk works to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and communities through the Cocoa Life Programme, making sure that the chocolate you love is made the right way.

Milk chocolate is synonymous with the ‘glass and a half’ of milk that goes into Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate. And cocoa is another essential ingredient of our beloved chocolate. And did you know that 70% of the world’s cocoa is grown by West African farmers?

Cocoa farmers and their communities face many complex challenges, including climate change, gender inequality, poverty and child labor. Cocoa Life is addressing these challenges holistically by working on the ground with cocoa communities focusing on where a difference can be made: turning cocoa into a business of choice, 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.

What is the Cocoa Life Programme?

Cocoa Life is Mondelēz International’s cocoa sustainability programme. “The aim of Cocoa Life is to ensure that the cocoa that goes into Cadbury products is ‘made right’,” says the country lead of Cocoa Life in Ghana, Yaa Peprah Amekudzi.

Through Cocoa Life, Mondelēz International has been investing in community development in the cocoa sector since 2012. Since its inception to the end of 2018, Cocoa Life has reached more than 142,000 cocoa farmers in more than 1,400 communities in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Brazil, Dominican Republic and India. Cocoa Life is helping them gain knowledge and skills to improve their livelihoods, strengthen their communities and inspire the next generation of cocoa farmers.

Cadbury Dairy Milk works hand in hand with the men and women who make their living from cocoa in Cocoa Life communities. Cocoa Life creates a movement for lasting change, rooted in deep understanding through sector-wide collaboration and partnership. Choosing the Cocoa Life logo means everyone can love our chocolate as much as we do, because it’s made the right way.

How the Cocoa Life Programme helps communities

Through three areas of intervention, Cocoa Life is growing opportunities:

Cocoa Farming as a Prosperous Business
Working hand-in-hand with cocoa farmers to make cocoa farming a business of choice. We help farmers become more productive, so they can increase their income from cocoa.

Empowered and Inclusive Cocoa Communities
Empowering the men, women and youth within cocoa communities to lead their own development and improve their livelihoods through entrepreneurship.

Forests are conserved and restored
Protecting and restoring the land and forests where cocoa is grown, together with the farmers and communities.

Yaa Peprah Amekudzi started the programme with only 100 communities in 7 districts in Ghana’s cocoa belt. She has managed to expand the Cocoa Life programme to reach 450 communities in 17 districts and 5 regions within a decade.

Not only have 38 417 cocoa farmers been directly impacted, but 415 464 community members as well – of which almost half are young people. This approach of helping both farmers and communities is the key to making cocoa right.

At the moment, 45% of South Africa’s Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate is made from Cocoa Life cocoa. Cadbury wants this to increase to 100% in 2025. A Cocoa Life logo is on all Cadbury Dairy Milk slabs.

Yaa Perah Amekudzi leading the way.

Yaa Peprah Amekudzi has been the country lead of Cocoa Life in Ghana since its establishement 10 years ago. First known as the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership, the programme has formed strategic partnerships with both government agencies and NGOs over the last decade in order to tackle the root causes of the complex challenges cocoa farmers face and make cocoa farming a business of choice.

Beside being part of Cocoa Life, Yaa is also co-chairing the steering committee of the Ghana Cocoa Platform, a member of the Ghana Steering Committee of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative and a member of Ghana’s National Population Council.

More information about Cocoa Life and its operations around the world can be found here.