Mondelēz and olam food ingredients join environmental groups to expand Amazon forest restoration project
27 Oct 2021 --- Mondelēz International, olam food ingredients (ofi), Partnerships for Forests (P4F) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are scaling up efforts to eliminate deforestation and restore degraded land in Pará, Brazil, where deforestation rates are the highest of any Brazilian state.
The companies say this will help to bring 48,000 hectares of land under sustainable management by 2023 in a move to create a sustainable future for cocoa.
Approximately 1.2 million hectares of forest have been lost in the last five years, mainly as forest is cleared to make way for cattle farming.
This collaboration will see the key food industry players tackling deforestation by promoting cocoa agroforestry, which is grown alongside native trees and fruits, as a more profitable alternative.
The large-scale project will restore lost tree cover and help farmers to diversify and strengthen their livelihoods. It is also intended to encourage other industry players to replicate the model and help accelerate progress toward protecting this vital landscape.
The project expands the first phase, which recently won Nature-Based Project of the Year at the Business Green Leaders Awards 2021.
More than 250 farmers have already signed a zero-deforestation agreement, 16,000 hectares of land have been brought under sustainable management, and 1.6 million Brazilian reais of subsidized credit have been unlocked for implementation and management of agroforestry.
What's coming next?
The project's next phase will see scaling up further to cover 700 farmers and 48,000 hectares of land by 2023.
Farmers and rural technicians will get added support and training on cocoa agroforestry through a Technical Assistance Hub co-funded by Mondelēz, P4F, Humanize Institute, GIZ and Extreme E.
With premiums for their cocoa, farmers will also be supported by ofi and Mondelēz with premiums for their cocoa in exchange for zero deforestation and reforestation commitments and get help accessing credit through a partnership with Banco da Amazônia.
Unlocking credit & promoting rural technical assistance
“As a leading supplier of cocoa beans and cocoa ingredients, if we are to create a sustainable future for cocoa farmers and our planet, we must not only put an end to deforestation in the Amazon, we have to help reverse it,” says M. Sathyamurthy, president of ofi’s cocoa business in Latam & Americas.
“Together with our partners, we are demonstrating how proven agroforestry techniques can restore precious forest and generate economic opportunities for farmers, supporting them to be agents of positive change.”
The project involves the Olam sustainability insights platform, AtSource.
“AtSource Infinity can deliver transformational impact at scale for communities as well as landscapes by promoting education and giving female farmers the training and tools they need to diversify their incomes,” Sathyamurthy continues.
“This next phase will go even further, addressing various bottlenecks that we know are preventing farmers from adopting sustainable practices from problems accessing credit to a lack of skilled labor and technical assistance,” he says.
The second phase aims to provide scale and sustain positive outcomes for the long term with an increased focus on the role of women in agroforestry, training rural technicians and equipping young people to provide specialized labor services, notes Barbara Ferreira, senior project officer at P4F.
In partnership with Mondelēz International, ofi will continue to collect data on the project and measure its impact through the Olam Farmer Information System (OFIS). The app collects detailed productivity and socio-environmental data on each farmer participating in the project and delivers tailored advice to help them improve productivity and biodiversity.
The data will also be made available to ofi’s customers through AtSource.
The project is being expanded with the support of a new investment platform funded by Instituto Humanize, GIZ and the electric vehicle racing series Extreme E.
Edited by Gaynor Selby
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