Hello, I'm Gianluca Nardi, Senior Women's Economic Empowerment Adviser in CIUK.
We have seen in Cocoa Life that women have an important role in cocoa production (and also in chocolate consumption) and quality even if this crop is normally considered a male crop. However, although at least 50% of the cocoa production activities are conducted by women, they have more limited access then men to training opportunities, credit, cooperatives membership.
It is important for companies to understand that women without access and control over productive resources along their supply chain, beyond being a social justice issue also represents an inefficiency from the business perspective and a missed opportunity to improve the quality and productivity of the supply. Once there is an internal buy-in on both the ethical and business case the company has the possibility to leverage a broad range of internal resources.
It is for this reason that Mondelez is investing important resources in improving their understanding about the progress of WEE in their supply chain in West Africa and to promote WEE.
Cocoa Life is also a great example of holistic approach to VC development that consider all the different dimensions that have an impact on the business enabling environment for coco producers and that sees WEE as a fundamental aspect.