Mondelez International Employees Learn and Serve in Cocoa Farming Communities in Ghana

This month, Mondelēz International will send employees to Ghana for a two-week skills-exchange program to learn about the challenges and opportunities in securing a sustainable cocoa supply, while sharing their diverse business skills with farmers.

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In its fourth year, the “Joy Ambassadors” program is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to grow its impact for people and the planet. The Joy Ambassadors will be visiting communities that are a part of Cocoa Life, the company’s holistic, third-party verified program that aims to create a sustainable cocoa supply by transforming the lives of farmers and communities at scale.

“This is a unique opportunity for our colleagues to gain a deeper understanding of the cocoa supply chain and share their business skills to help accelerate the impact of our Cocoa Life sustainability efforts,” said Sarah Delea, President of the Mondelēz International Foundation and Senior Director for Well-being and Community Involvement. “Each year, the Ambassadors return with fresh perspectives and energy that helps us grow our people, business and positive impact we have in the world.”

This year’s Joy Ambassador program focuses on strengthening communities through enhanced partnerships across the cocoa value chain — a critical factor to help build thriving cocoa communities.  As such, the development and delivery of community workshops to build capacity and collaboration among local farmers and stakeholders will be central to the experience.

The Joy Ambassadors offer a wide range of expertise, including research and development, marketing, manufacturing, strategy and finance.  They will host workshops on key topics such as networking and alliance building, planning and organization, coaching and mentoring and managing people and teams. The project is funded by the Mondelēz International Foundation through a partnership with VSO (formerly Voluntary Service Overseas), the world’s leading independent international development organization working through volunteers to tackle poverty in developing countries.

The 2017 Class of Joy Ambassadors is:

  • Elisabeth Altenkamp, Information Systems Manager — Germany
  • Jana Majdan Barankova, Manufacturing Section Manager — Austria
  • Ophira Bhatia, Corporate & Government Affairs Director, India & South East Asia – India
  • Jacopo Dellacasa, Biscuits Marketing Manager — Italy
  • Brian Dewerff, Customer Development Director — USA
  • Suzana Drzanic, Human Resources Director — Croatia
  • Kane Jacker, Packaging Senior Manager — Australia
  • Gavin Kaplan, Category Relationship Manager — Australia
  • Michele Lassman, Global Chocolate Strategy Senior Manager — USA
  • Adriane Lima, Chocolate Innovation Section Manager — Brazil
  • Monica Paulsen Ygre, Freia Brand Manager — Norway
  • Marcelo Russo, Chocolate Senior Manager— Brazil
  • Tatiana Situkha, Mondelez Business Services Cluster Manager — Russia
  • Paul Williams, Operations Director— USA

As one of the world’s largest chocolate companies Mondelēz International is committed to ensuring a sustainable cocoa supply chain through Cocoa Life. Launched in 2012, the program is investing $400 million USD by 2022 to empower at least 200,000 cocoa farmers and reach over one million community members in six key cocoa-growing origins: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia, India, the Dominican Republic and Brazil.

The company will highlight the experiences of the Joy Ambassadors on www.facebook.com/mondelezinternational and www.twitter.com/mdlz during and after the journey.  Visit the 2016 Impact for Growth Progress Report to learn more about Mondelēz International’s impact strategies and programs.

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