Mondelez International, the world’s pre-eminent maker of chocolate, biscuits, gum, candy, coffee and powdered beverages, is sending nine employees from around the world to learn and serve in cocoa-farming communities in Ghana. The pilot Joy Ambassadors program gathers employees from seven countries – Brazil, China, the U.S., the U.K., Russia, Sweden and Switzerland – to learn directly from cocoa communities about their successes and challenges, while sharing employees’ diverse business skills.
Mondelez International’s first Joy Ambassadors represent each of the regions where the company operates, and they offer a wide range of skills, from agronomy and research and development to operations, procurement, marketing and law. The project is funded by the Mondelez International Foundation through a partnership with – VSO – Voluntary Service Overseas – an international development organization that brings people together to share skills and knowledge. The Joy Ambassadors program aims to go beyond traditional volunteering by directly sharing relevant business know-how with cocoa farmers and communities. The project will be based in one of more than 200 Ghanaian communities participating in Cocoa Life, Mondelez International’s 10-year, $400 million cocoa sustainability commitment.
“Our first Joy Ambassadors mission is sure to be a transformative experience for our employees,” said Nicole Robinson, President of the Mondelez International Foundation and Senior Director for Corporate Community Involvement. “This is a unique learning experience, and it’s also a prime opportunity for our people to add value to Cocoa Life communities through mentoring, tutoring and coaching. Working together, they’ll accelerate the impact of Cocoa Life to create empowered, thriving communities in a once-in-a-lifetime development experience.”
In Ghana, the Joy Ambassadors will be part of innovations taking place every day in Cocoa Life communities. Cocoa Life’s direct investment is central to the future of cocoa, and through the program, farming families are using community and business development to create thriving cocoa communities. The Joy Ambassadors will share their own experiences on www.cocoalife.org and www.mondlezinternational.com/facebook during and after the trip. For biographical information on the Joy Ambassadors, please see the related infographic.
The first group of Mondelez International’s Joy Ambassadors includes:
- Hilda Björkman, Marketing Manager – Sweden
- Samuel Chow, Senior Manager, Research, Development & Quality – China
- Miles Eddowes, Associate Director, Research, Development & Quality – U.K.
- Elena Golubeva, Director, Sales Strategy & Operations – Russia
- Jens Hammer, Associate Principal Scientist – Brazil
- Ritoo Jain, Deputy Chief Counsel – U.K.
- Sarah McCann, Senior Director, Human Resources – U.K.
- Eileen McShane, Associate Director, Information Systems – U.S.
- Philipp Wallisch, Senior Manager, Innovation – Austria
Company Dedicates October to Volunteering
The Joy Ambassadors program debut coincides with Mondelez International’s first anniversary as a new company. Around the world, employees are taking time to give back to their communities. Partnering with leading global and local nonprofit organizations, such as Save the Children, INMED Partnerships for Children and Klasse2000, more than 16,000 employees will roll up their sleeves to volunteer in more than 80 countries.
Employees play a vital role in their communities all year long, and this month of service simply carries on a rich tradition of volunteerism from Mondelez International’s legacy companies. This year, the volunteering has been expanded from one week to an entire month, so employees can make an even bigger impact. From planting school vegetable gardens in Egypt and running nutrition workshops in the U.S. to packing food parcels for needy families in Japan and organizing sports for children in China and India, employees are using their skills to help protect the well-being of the planet. For a month-by-month review of Mondelez International’s highlights and fun facts, please see the related infographic: http://bit.ly/1e9qIwh.