Sustainable cocoa sourcing

As part of General Mills’ goal to sustainably source 100 percent of our 10 priority ingredients, we are committed to sourcing 100 percent of our cocoa volumes sustainably by 2020.

To achieve this, we have been working closely with major suppliers and NGO partners to scale sustainable sourcing programs with a focus on improving smallholder farmer livelihoods, community and women’s empowerment and ingredient quality.  

In 2017, General Mills became one of only two non-confectionary manufacturer signatories to the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI), a new public-private partnership organized by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), IDH - the Sustainable Trade Initiative, and The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit (ISU). 

The partnership has committed to end deforestation and promote forest restoration and protection in the cocoa supply chain.


Joining CFI reinforces our sustainable sourcing commitment for cocoa and will help drive progress towards our 2025 science-based greenhouse gas emissions target.


The focus of our CFI activities is West Africa, where ~90% of our cocoa originates. Read a more detailed description of the Cocoa & Forests initiative and our approach, in this PDF.

This General Mills action plan represents best current thinking on key activities and investments over the next five years (2018-2022) to fulfill CFI commitments to end deforestation and forest degradation in the cocoa sectors beginning in Côte d’Ivoire (Excel) and Ghana (Excel). Priorities outlined in the action plan align with the priorities developed in the CFI national implementation plans for Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. 


Aggregate company action plans were shared with both governments for feedback prior to being finalized and published. 

“In 2013 General Mills made a commitment to source 100% of its cocoa volumes sustainably by 2020. Through our participation in the CFI and publication of our country action plans, we are further strengthening that commitment by setting out concrete steps we will take to end deforestation and promote forest protection and restoration in the cocoa supply chain. We look forward to working with our suppliers and partners to deliver these commitments, helping to build a sustainable, resilient and productive cocoa sector in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.”  -Jerry Lynch, Chief Sustainability Officer, General Mills

General Mills has been working closely with our supplier partners to develop our action plan, which is focused on the three core pillars of the CFI frameworks for action:

  • Forest protection and restoration
  • Sustainable production and farmers’ livelihoods
  • Community engagement and social inclusion 

Our action plan should be considered initial, since the governments have not yet provided important background information required by the signatory companies to finalize their individual action plans. Plans will be finalized in 2019 once the governments have provided the necessary data.