You spoke. Mars and Nestlé listened.
More than 65,000 people sent messages asking companies to improve their policies and help women cocoa growers get a fair deal.March 26th, 2013 | by Victoria Marzilli
Here’s a real treat for chocolate lovers: proof that no company is too big to listen to customers like you.
Exactly one month ago, Oxfam launched the Behind the Brands scorecard with a call for consumers to “change the way the food companies that make your favorite brands do business.” We kicked off the effort by asking you to take action in support of women cocoa farmers around the world, many of whom face poverty, low wages, and discrimination.
In an incredible response, more than 65,000 people sent messages asking companies to improve their policies and help women cocoa growers get a fair deal. Tens of thousands of you also tweeted, shared our messages on Facebook, and attended events around the country. (See some examples in the video below.)
Today, thanks to your efforts, two of the world’s biggest chocolate companies have shown they’re listening. Mars and Nestlé have agreed to do more to “know and show” how women are being treated in their cocoa supply chains, 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. (Learn more about their commitments here.) We’re encouraged by their commitments and the effects these will ultimately have on the women who grow and pick the key ingredient in our favorite chocolate treats.
“Women cocoa farmers and consumers around the globe have made their voices heard,” said Alison Woodhead, manager for Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign. “Mars and Nestlé 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.”
Oxfam is looking forward to working with Mars and Nestlé to ensure that they keep their promises to women cocoa farmers. For now, help maintain the momentum by calling on another of the world’s biggest chocolate companies, Mondelez International (maker of products like Oreos), to follow suit. Add your voice today.