A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Here’s an Easter treat for chocolate lovers: proof that no brand is so big it can ignore its customers.
A month ago Oxfam launched Behind the Brands with a call to “change the way the food companies that make your favorite brands do business.” In just a few weeks thousands of tweets were sent to the companies, including a huge Thunderclap on International Women's Day and many thousands of Facebook shares and comments. More than 60,000 of us have taken action to ask the ‘Big 3’ chocolate companies, Mars, Mondelez and Nestle, to do right by the women who grow their cocoa. Today, two of them have shown they’re listening.
- to do more to ‘know and show’ how women are being treated in their cocoa supply chain,
- to commit to a plan of action, to work to sign on to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, and
- to work with industry organizations to address gender issues.
These moves are happening because of the pressure you applied.
We are encouraged by their commitments and the effects this could eventually have on the women who grow and pick the key ingredient in our favorite chocolate treats. (Learn more about these commitments.)
Deisi (pictured right), a cocoa farmer in Brazil and a young leader there, has always believed that companies can help. “We should seek partnerships with companies that could help us increase and improve our production and also help us in transporting and selling our cocoa.”
In this billion dollar industry, women working in cocoa production often earn less than $2 a day and face uphill battles on accessing support and training. Mars, Mondelez and Nestle have the power to change this and to help women to succeed and overcome the poverty that they and their communities face.
Women cocoa farmers and consumers around the globe have made their voices heard. Mars and Nestle have taken important steps to show the farmers they rely on, their customers and the rest of the food industry that they care about the conditions women face in their supply chains, including low pay, discrimination and unequal opportunity.
Oxfam is looking forward to working with Mars and Nestle to ensure they keep their promises to women and now looks to Mondelez to follow suit with similar commitments.
Mondelez International, which controls 15% of the global chocolate market (and makes products such as Oreos), has yet to act. So the question is - Mondelez, will you listen to your customers and act?
Keep the pressure on Mondelez International - add your voice today!