Barry Callebaut has joined forces with Tokyo-based Yuraku Confectionery in a move to drive sustainability in Japan.
Together, the companies are calling on chocolate manufacturers and chocolatiers in Tokyo to push sustainability forward in the industry.
In 2016, Barry Callebaut committed to making its chocolate 100% sustainability sourced by 2025, as part of its strategy Forever Chocolate and last year the company announced that it had reached 51%.
Through the partnership, Yuraku Confectionery will directly contribute to Barry Callebaut’s sustainability targets by participating in its Cocoa Horizons programme, a non-profit organisation which aims to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities.
According to the Swiss chocolatier, perception around food sustainability in Japan is rapidly changing, with its 2019 survey revealing that 72% of Japanese consumers consider sustainability as an important factor when purchasing food and drinks.
“The time for action is now. The new Japanese consumers do not just want chocolate that is tasty and good for them, but also good for the planet and its people,” said Pascale Meulemeester, managing director for Barry Callebaut in Japan.
Meulemeester added: “This presents a great opportunity for chocolate manufacturers and artisans to unite behind a common ambition to make sustainable chocolate the norm. We are now working with several companies to develop sustainable products for Japan and we’re looking forward to the announcement in the near future.”
With the aim of mending the gap between its consumer market and origin countries, Yuraku Confectionery is studying the structural issues of cocoa farming in person in Ghana, the world’s second largest cocoa producer. Earlier this year, the Japanese chocolate manufacturer also announced their transition to 100% sustainable chocolate in its Black Thunder chocolate bars by 2025.
“Sustainability positions us well, not just today, but for the future. We understand that it is what consumers are asking for and we are happy to partner with Barry Callebaut and its Cocoa Horizons programme to lead the way until it becomes the norm in the market,” said Tatsunobu Kawai, president of Yuraku Confectionery.
With its new partnership, the companies aim to “make a difference on a large scale” and are urging other companies in the industry to join the movement.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019