SWITZERLAND – Barry Callebaut’s new Forever Chocolate sustainability report shows that 44% of cocoa beans and other ingredients inits supply chain are sourced sustainably.

The Forever Chocolate Progress Report highlights sustainability initiatives undertaken by the cocoa producer and grinder in the fiscal year 2017-18 and it shows an increase in sustainably sourced cocoa beans compared to 36% achieved the previous year.

The percentage includes the group’s Cocoa Horizons program, as well as its customers’ own programs and external certification such as UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance, Fair trade and Organic.

According to the report, the company also sourced 44% of its non-cocoa agricultural raw materials sustainably, up from 30% the previous year.

The Forever Chocolate strategy was launched in 2016 with commitment to a ‘manifesto’ of promises, designed to make the company’s chocolate 100% sustainably sourced by 2025.

The commitments include lift more than 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty, eradicate child labor from its supply chain, become carbon and forest positive and have 100% sustainable ingredients in all its products.

Poverty alleviation and eradicating child labour

To tackle the poverty problem among cocoa farmers,Barry Callebaut has committed to build data sets with detailed location,agronomic, economic and social survey data on the cocoa farms in its supply chain.

The company said more than 130,000 farms have already been mapped, allowing it to create tailor-made sustainability programs to address their challenges.

The group also distributed over 2.1 million young cocoa seedlings, as well as close to 400,000 shade trees to farmers.

Farmers to the tune of 12,395 from Côte d’Ivoire,Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania, Brazil and Indonesia are said to have participated in its Farm Services business, were trained and given inputs such as tools, seedlings and access to finance.

It supported cocoa farmers in replanting 281 hectare with young trees, other crops while helping farmers achieve diversification in their farming.

When it comes to child labour, Barry Callebaut is working in collaboration with ICI in regard to child employment and education in coffee farming communities.

Such initiatives were carried out in 2017/18 covering 12,018 farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to prevent, monitor and remediate child labor.

The monitoring which achieved 12% coverage of farmers in the two countries, up from 3.2% in the previous year, uncovered 4,230 cases of the worst forms of child labor, in all cases children working on their family’s farm.

Minimizing greenhouse effects

Barry Callebaut said it is working to reduce carbon emissions along its operation chain including energy use, production,processing of raw materials and related land use charges.

The report indicated that carbon footprint of the group’s supply chain from farm to customer was 9.1 million tonnes CO2e in 2017/18, a 4.6% increase from the previous year.

The CO2 intensity per tonne of average product slightly decreased to 4.45 tonnes due to energy-saving measures given that 24% (14 out of 59) of its factories are running on 100% renewable energy.

To check deforestation, it has acquired various certifications including Rainforest Alliance in addition to other safeguard measures to protect the forests.

It has created a heat map to provide an overview of the geographical footprint of the raw materials the group sources which are at risk of causing deforestation.