CHICAGO — Blommer Chocolate Co. has unveiled plans to invest an incremental $45 million in cocoa sustainability efforts by 2020 as a part of its Sustainable Origins program. The company has pledged to reach an additional 50,000 cocoa farmers worldwide, building on existing farmer programs to double its current farmer base to 100,000.

To date, Blommer has invested nearly $13 million into the cocoa sector to help meet the rising demand, with $3.7 million in farmer training and infrastructure improvements and $9 million in direct premiums to farmers for cocoa that meets their quality standards.

“True sustainability can only be achieved through programs and activities that are, or become, self-sustaining,” said Peter Blommer, president and chief operating officer of Blommer Chocolate. “As a multi-generational family business we believe that our industry has an obligation to help provide the education and tools necessary for farmers to improve quality, productivity and gain market transparency — not only to keep pace with market demand for chocolate, but also to ensure the economic viability of cocoa farming for generations.”