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The more I learn about the terrible damage man is inflicting on the earth and its biodiversity, it makes me really sad to think that ou...

Major companies, including Mars, have signed up to an initiative that aims to promote sustainability in cocoa production.

The firms, which also include Nestli and ECOM, join the likes of Heinz Benelux and Cargill as members of the Good Inside Cocoa Programme which is being organised by corporate social responsibility organisation UTZ Certified.

As part of the scheme, the companies will help to strengthen local cocoa farmers groups as well as supporting independent certification of various aspects of the cocoa supply chain.

"We are very pleased that Mars, Nestli and ECOM have joined the program, as they are important players in the cocoa industry," Frank Pronk, executive director of UTZ Certified, told Africa News.

The organisation aims to put sustainability pilot schemes in place in the Ivory Coast later this year and early in 2009, with a view to rolling out the certification elsewhere as soon as possible after then.

It hopes to eventually produce 'Good Inside' cocoa during the second half of 2009.ADNFCR-1231-ID-18456892-ADNFCR

Article Date: 06 February 2008

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