“It takes people, organization and real efforts to make changes meaningful and I am glad to see Mars and UTZ Certified working together towards this important goal.” These are the reflections of Jeannette Ho, the latest Mars Ambassador to experience first-hand how sustainable cocoa farming is changing lives in Africa. Do you also want to engage your employees with your choice for sustainable sourcing? We’re more than happy to think along.

Mars, one of the world’s leading chocolate manufacturers, has pledged to achieve 100% certified cocoa by 2020. The Mars Ambassador Program connects associates directly with relevant organizations that support Mars’ business objectives. The program also brings its sustainable sourcing to life for employees around its business. Through visits to countries of origin, Ambassadors connect with communities in the company’s supply chain and share their experiences and insights with their colleagues to spread the sustainable sourcing message.

mars_ambassador_2014-001This year, it was the turn of Jeannette Ho, a Mars product development scientist, to take on an ambassador assignment and experience what sustainable sourcing is all about. “The first week I spent meeting with people at UTZ,” said Jeannette. “I soon realized that running a global certification program was more complex than I would have thought.”

In her second week, Jeannette flew to Ghana, where she visited UTZ certified co-ops and farmers, partner organizations, auditors and schools. Her overwhelming impression was one of the sheer friendliness of the people and a pioneering spirit among some of the groups she met.

“I met some inspiring people along the way, and it reinforced the idea that the world is becoming smaller and that the opportunity to improve is very real if we make the efforts,” she said.

Read also about the experience of previous Mars Ambassador Chris Cuello. If you’d like support in developing an employee or media engagement program for your organization we’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!