SWITZERLAND – Swiss chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut is stepping up its efforts to make sustainable chocolate the norm by extending its sustainability programs to coconut production. 

To this end, Barry Callebaut is launching a scorecard to define and develop sustainable practices in coconut production and address “untackled challenges” across the sector, together with Nestlé and Proforest. 

Coconut is a key ingredient in many of Barry Callebaut’s products, which is why the company is developing a coconut sustainability framework to promote positive change.  

The success of the project will bolster the Swiss chocolate giant’s Forever Chocolate plan to be carbon- and forest-positive by 2025.   

Oliver von Hagen, director of sustainability global ingredients at Barry Callebaut, says the Sustainable Coconut Supplier Scorecard provides a comprehensive, efficient and consistent approach to identifying sustainability risks in supply chains on issues such as farmer livelihoods, agricultural practices, or environmental impacts.  

“Beyond this, it also covers key topics like traceability, access to finance and technology, and carbon footprint.” 

Nestlé and Proforest are key partners in the initiative as they will help the chocolate supplier assess sustainability practices and performance in supply chains. 

The three partners will also work together to develop roadmaps for sustainability, enhance traceability by mapping out supply chain actors, and introduce a tangible incentive for suppliers and coconut origins to make improvements. 

“If we don’t proactively start working on these issues now, the coconut sector will be hit hard by the impacts of unsustainable practices in the coming five to ten years. Now is the time to prepare the ground for a more sustainable coconut sector,” Hagen added. 

The recently launched program builds upon Barry’s 2020 initiative where it launched the world’s first coconut charter to work on sustainable coconut production. 

The Sustainable Coconut Supplier Scorecard and Sustainable Origins Assessment will enhance this initiative by allowing Barry Callebaut to assess sustainability risks at its coconut supply chain’s sourcing locations and origin countries, set clear improvement targets, and track performance over time.  

It will also help the Swiss chocolate manufacturer enhance traceability by mapping out supply chain actors and introducing a tangible incentive for suppliers and coconut origins to make improvements.  

By 2022, Barry Callebaut intends to roll out this assessment with all of its coconut oil suppliers, in addition to its annual traceability assessment. 

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