© Barry Callebaut
Barry Callebaut’s latest Forever Chocolate report shows the company has increased its proportion of sustainably sourced cocoa beans by 8 percentage points over the last year.
The chocolate processor sourced 44% of its cocoa beans through sustainability programmes, up from 36% in 2017/18. The same percentage of its non-cocoa agricultural raw materials (44%) were also obtained through sustainable means.
The current rate of progress puts Barry Callebaut on track to surpassing the 50% mark for sustainably sourced cocoa beans within the next year.
“In fiscal year 2017/18, we made great progress to achieving the targets we set ourselves in 2016,” the company said in its report. “Our quantified, time-bound objectives enable us to engrain our sustainability agenda across all our business functions. The progress data show how, through our sourcing, processing and sales, we are driving change, supporting cocoa farming communities, reducing resource consumption in our factories and driving the uptake of sustainably sourced chocolate.
“But we have to do more: Forever Chocolate is about increasing our verifiable impact and systemic change. We dedicated the past fiscal year to developing our theory of systemic change, identifying those activities which create self-sustaining cocoa farming communities. These activities range from farm-focused activities, such as increasing farm productivity and crop diversification, to community-focused activities, such as empowering women to generate income, taking measures against the worst forms of child labour and improving access to quality education.”
The report shows that Barry Callebaut has improved its record on child labour, with 12% of the farmer groups it sources from directly having systems in place to prevent, monitor and remediate the issue. And it has replanted over 2.1 million cocoa seedlings and nearly 400,000 shade trees, and Barry Callebaut’s Cocoa Horizons scheme has generated CHF 10.5 million in premiums this year.
The ‘manifesto’ of promises made within the Forever Chocolate sustainability reports were first announced in December 2016, at which time less than a quarter of the beans sourced by Barry Callebaut were from sustainable origins. At the time, Barry Callebaut CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique called the commitments ‘bold’ and said the company would need the help of third parties, including NGOs and consumers, to achieve them.
The Swiss-based business intends to entirely eradicate child labour from the supply chain, lift more than 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty, use only sustainable ingredients in all of its products, and become ‘carbon and forest positive’.
The measures have been well-timed against growing consumer demand for sustainable and ethical food products.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020