Making the cocoa business sustainable means more than just coming up with the right farming techniques; it also means teaching those techniques to farmers and suppliers up and down the supply chain. Agricultural innovations are useless if businesses don’t know how to implement them.
In Sulawesi we’ve been very busy teaching cocoa agronomists and suppliers from around the world about our methods of cocoa rehabilitation, best farming practices and the best ways how to transfer these technology to the cocoa farmers. Besides agronomists from Asia and Africa we are also getting visits from Pacific cocoa producing countries as Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Employees from Monpi, the Papua New Guinea business part of ECOM, one of the world’s major cocoa, coffee, and cotton suppliers and one of our supply chain partners, have made several trips to our Cocoa Development Centre in Sulawesi over the last three years. On their visits ECOM got to see firsthand what innovations Mars is making in rehabilitation of old cocoa trees, grafting of clonal materials, and establishing of nurseries and the effects that these strategies have on cocoa production. This support and training for ECOM are instrumental to reaching our goal of total sustainability by 2020. ECOM employees from PNG are now equipped to implement some of the strategies we showed them and they are doing a great work in the field with PNG cocoa farmers.