The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), which counts global chocolate giants like Mars, Nestle and Mondelez among its members, will contribute $600,000 to the prevention and treatment of Ebola in West Africa.
The money was collected from WCF member companies in the chocolate and cocoa industry and all of the funds raised will go to support Ebola care and prevention efforts being carried out in West Africa.
Seventy per cent of the world’s cocoa supply originates in West Africa, accordigng to WCF, though the region’s largest producers of the commodity, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, have thus far not experienced an outbreak of the Ebola virus.
“The spread of Ebola is a serious concern to WCF and our member companies, given our deep and longstanding support for the well-being of West African cocoa-growing communities,” said Bill Guyton, WCF president.
“We recognise that many rural communities in West Africa, including those where cocoa is grown, need support to find sustainable solutions to economic and social problems that may hinder their ability to tackle threats such as Ebola.”
He said WCF would also activate its existing networks in West Africa to educate rural communities about preventive measures that they can take to avoid infection.
“We also believe that the best way to help West African cocoa farmers and their communities is to continue to buy the cocoa that they grow.”
WCF is an international membership foundation of more than 115 companies that promotes a sustainable cocoa economy by providing cocoa farmers with the tools they need to grow more and better cocoa, market it successfully, and make greater profits.
Its membership includes cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies worldwide, representing more than 80 per cent of the global cocoa market.