The chocolate supply chain involves everyone who plays a part in producing chocolate,from local governments to international certification organizations and multi-national manufacturers. To achieve sucess, all of these players must collaborate effectively and prioritize farmer benefit at origin over competitive advantage. By putting farmers first and training them , Mars is aiming to strengthen its supply chain as a whole and to move towards a more sustainable cocoa economy. Most of the cocoa imported by MARS is grown by individual cocoa farmers and their families on plots smaller
than five acres (two hectares) in rural parts of West Africa, Asia and the America. Local buyers in these countries collect cocoa beans from many farmers, either after harvest or after they have been dried or fermented. Exporters then buy cocoa beans from a network of the local buyers and prepare them for international shipping and processing to Mars factories . The exporter can be a local marketing company, a global commodity trader, an international agricultural business, a cocoa processor or a government In Africa, Mars has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ivorian government for long-term collaboration and investment in cocoa.
It is also working closely with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), the Brazilian National Research Center (CEPLAC) and the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture to obtain better quality for chocolate manufacturing. Mars is the first global chocolate company to commit to sourcing all of their cocoa from certified sources by 2020. In 2011, they purchased 10% of their cocoa from certified sources, and in 2012 exceeded it to 20 percent and become the world’s largest user of certified cocoa. They currently buy cocoa certified by the Rainforest Alliance, UTZ Certified and Fairtrade.
While consumer choices determine demand throughout the cocoa market, it is the manufacturer that meets this demand directly and so sets standards that affect the whole supply chain. Having such an influential role means manufacturers have a duty to ensure that the supply chain supporting their products operates in a responsible and sustainable way. Although Mars cannot have direct relationships with every individual farmer, by choosing to use certified cocoa in their products, the company aims to enable industry-wide improvements in productivity, incomes and sustainability.
When the cocoa beans arrive at the factory they are processed into the cocoa products that can be used in manufacturing chocolate. These include cocoa liquor, cocoa butter and cocoa powder. Most processing occurs away from the countries where cocoa is grown because it is more efficient to process and manufacture the products close to where they will be consumed.. What happens during processing has a direct effect on the flavor and qualities of the resulting chocolate. The taste and texture of a particular chocolate product depends on the each recipie , which remains a guarded secret of the company.
Mars uses different types and proportions of cocoa liquor, cocoa butter and other ingredients such as milk and sugar to make their products consistent with the brand. They use a mix of beet and cane sugar in our chocolate and confectionery products and source most of it within the region in which it will be used. For several years, they have worked closely with direct suppliers to ensure our sugar is responsibly sourced, while maintaining the highest levels of quality . They need a consistent and high-quality supply of peanuts for some of our most popular products, including SNICKERS® and M&M’S®.
Jointly funding the U. S. Peanut Resources and Efficiency Measures Report conducted by the independent research firm IHS Global Insight, which found major potential improvements in farming practices among U. S. peanut farmers as they are its major suppliers . Dairy ingredients are a critical component of many of our milk chocolate and caramel brands . These are obtained by collaborating with other consumer brand companies and suppliers throughout the local markets that comply with the company’s supplier code of conduct . The finished chocolate product is then packaged.
The packaging is made in the factory usuing materials such as metal , paper and plastics which is purchased locally. Their strategy is to reduce, recycle and rethink our packaging. This is not easy, as alternative materials that appear more sustainable in one respect often have a greater impact elsewhere. They use lifecycle assessment to ensure that they do not make progress in one area, only to undermine it somewhere else . For packaging they also work with suppliers, universities, other industries and expert partners to share learning and innovation.
In Australia, Wrigley committed to the National Packaging Covenant in 2005, and has signed the updated Australian Packaging Covenant . The finished product is via the company owned transport local distributors. The distributors can be individuals , a private enterprise or the government which transport the chocolate to local stores and marts and also to exporters of the finished products . As one of the leading food manufacturers in the world, Mars has a significant international presence in more than 73 countries.