Mondelez International Sends Top Talent to Learn and Serve in Ghana Cocoa Farming Communities

DEERFIELD, Ill., Sept. 30, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fourteen Mondelēz International employees from around the world will learn and serve in cocoa-farming communities in Ghana during a two-week skills-exchange program in late October. Coming from ten countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Egypt, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United States and Switzerland), the "Joy Ambassadors" will learn directly from farmers about the challenges and opportunities in securing a sustainable cocoa supply, while sharing their diverse business skills. This effort is part of the company's Call For Well-being, which is focused on fueling growth while securing the well-being of future generations.

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This class of Joy Ambassadors will specifically focus on innovations that can empower women in cocoa growing communities to launch and operate small enterprises. In Ghana, female cocoa farmers earn 25-30 percent less than their male counterparts and often struggle with less access to financing and business knowledge.

As the largest buyer of cocoa in the world, Mondelēz International is committed to ensuring a sustainable cocoa supply chain by implementing programs on the ground, most notably Cocoa Life. Launched in 2012, this $400 million program aims to empower over 200,000 farmers and more than one million people in six key cocoa growing origins by 2022. Through Cocoa Life, the company is focused on achieving scale and driving impact in Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Indonesia, India, Dominican Republic and Brazil.

"Our Joy Ambassadors program is a unique opportunity for some of our brightest talent to gain first-hand knowledge of a critical component of our supply chain, while coaching and mentoring Cocoa Life communities through this once-in-a-lifetime development experience," said Nicole Robinson, President of the Mondelēz International Foundation and Senior Director for Corporate Community Involvement. "This is the second edition of the program, and we're really excited about this class of Joy Ambassadors. Over half of the participants are women, which uniquely positions them to drive impactful female empowerment discussions."

Joy Ambassadors represent each region where the company operates and offer a wide range of skills, from agronomy, marketing, manufacturing to finance and law. The project is funded by the Mondelēz International Foundation through a partnership with VSO – Voluntary Service Overseas – an international development organization that brings people together to share skills and knowledge.

The 2015 Class of Mondelēz International's Joy Ambassadors are:

  • Maria Gabriela Cadenas, Associate Director Information Systems – Colombia
  • Miles Drayton, Senior Manager Strategy – United Arab Emirates
  • Emanuel Gavert, Global Chocolate Innovation Manager – Switzerland
  • Bettina Gott, Brand Equity Keeper Cote d'Or – Switzerland
  • Andra Gough, Category Head Biscuits – Australia
  • Linda Junel, Plant Manager – Switzerland
  • Ibrahim Kaya, Manufacturing Plant Director – Turkey
  • Jenny Lauth, Chief Counsel Securities & Associate Corp Secretary – U.S.
  • Ola Loutfi, Manager Corporate and Government Affairs – Egypt
  • Philip Oxford, Associate Director Research Development & Quality – Canada
  • Mariana Perota, Associate Director, Regional Milka Brands – Brazil
  • Meghna Poojary, Senior Manager Internal Audit – Switzerland
  • Rajesh Ramanathan, Human Resources Director – Singapore
  • Don Sweat, Sales Customer Business Lead – U.S.

The Joy Ambassadors will share their experiences on and during and after the trip.

Company Culture of Volunteer Service

The Joy Ambassadors journey coincides with Mondelēz International's annual Global Volunteer Month. During the month of October, employees around the world will take time to give back to their communities. Partnering with leading global and local non-governmental organizations, such as INMED Partnerships for Children, Magic Bus, Save the Children and Klasse2000, thousands of employees from around the globe will roll up their sleeves to volunteer.

About Mondelēz International

Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ) is a global snacking powerhouse, with pro forma 2014 revenue of more than $30 billion. Creating delicious moments of joy in 165 countries, Mondelēz International is a world leader in biscuits, chocolate, gum, candy and powdered beverages, with billion-dollar brands such as Oreo, LU and Nabisco biscuits; Cadbury, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka chocolate; Trident gum and Tang powdered beverages. Mondelēz International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor's 500, NASDAQ 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit or follow us on Twitter at

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CONTACT: Valerie Moens +1 847 943 5678

Source:Mondelez International, Inc.