Mondelez International, Inc. (MDLZ) recently announced the opening of a farmer training center in Vietnam to help coffee farmers improve the productivity and quality of their crop. This will ensure high quality coffee beans for iconic brands such as Jacobs, Carte Noire and Kenco of Mondelez, one of the largest buyers of coffee in Vietnam.
The training center is the first project under Mondelez's $200 million "Coffee Made Happy" sustainability program. The program aims to train around 1500 farmers and supports Mondelez's goal to buy 100% ethically sourced coffee in Western Europe by 2015. The packaged food company plans to invest more than $1 million in Vietnam and Indonesia over the next two years to support the plan.
Mondelez's Vietnam investment comes on the heels of similar efforts by the coffee giant, Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) earlier this year. In March, Starbucks purchased a 240-hectare coffee plot in Costa Rica with plans to convert it into a global agronomy research and development center. The farm will be used to grow new blends of coffee and support Starbucks' billion-dollar commitment to buy 100% ethically sourced coffee by 2015.
Mondelez carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) as the company is still in a transitional stage and it is likely to take some time to stabilize. Mondelez emerged from a split of Kraft Foods, Inc last year when the latter was demerged into two companies– Mondelez and Kraft Foods Group (KRFT). Kraft Foods Group consists of the North American grocery business of the old Kraft Foods while Mondelez handles the latter's snack business, which includes brands like Cadbury and Toblerone chocolates.
Another consumer staple stock that is worth a look is Flower Foods Inc. (FLO), carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).