Monday 24 June 2024
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SUSTAINABILITY – Mars ambassador visits UTZ certified cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire and reports on his journey

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AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands – Chris Cuello, Sales Director at Mars Chocolate North America, is embarking on a once-in-a-life-time experience with UTZ Certified, as part of the Mars Ambassador Program.

He will travel for ten days in the remote areas of Côte d’Ivoire where UTZ certified cocoa is produced, meeting with cocoa producers in four different cities: Yamoussoukro, Agboville, Soubré and San Pédro. He will track his personal insights throughout his adventure in the largest country producer of cocoa worldwide on the UTZ blog.

“Having Chris at UTZ is a sign of the profound interest of one of our major partners to really understand what our cocoa program stands for,” said Han de Groot, UTZ Certified Executive Director.

“We are really enthusiastic to share his journey with the world and raise awareness of the origin of our cocoa.” He concluded.

Chris has spent over two weeks at UTZ Certified’s central office in Amsterdam, where he has been able to meet with UTZ employees and learn all about the UTZ cocoa program.

“It is a rare occasion that one is given the opportunity to expand your perspective and immerse yourself in something new – where cultural norms, living standards, educational levels and even the language is completely foreign,” said Chris.


“I am curious, excited and even a little scared by the journey I embarked upon this week. It will take me on a month-long journey around the world from my home in Long Valley, New Jersey, USA to the city of Amsterdam in Holland and ultimately into remote cocoa growing regions of Côte d’Ivoire in Africa.”

UTZ Certified started to work in Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa farms in 2008. Over 88.000 smallholders and 442, 666 hectares of cocoa plantations in the country are UTZ certified.

In 2012, 51% of UTZ certified cocoa was sourced from 162 certified producer groups in Côte d’Ivoire.


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