Barry Callebaut targets sustainable chocolate by 2025

Chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut has committed to having sustainable ingredients in all of its products by 2025 as part of its new sustainability strategy entitled ‘Forever Chocolate’.

The new strategy, which aims to address the biggest sustainability challenges in the chocolate supply chain, also includes the eradication of child labour from its supply chain, as well as commitments to lift more than 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty, and become carbon and forest positive by 2025.

Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Barry Callebaut, explains, “We have been pioneering sustainability in cocoa and chocolate for many years, and we have made great progress. But despite all our efforts, only 23% of the cocoa beans we source are from sustainability programmes. We are determined to step change this and have 100% of our chocolate and its ingredient sustainably sourced by 2025.

She adds that the company intends to start a movement that also includes governments, NGOs, consumers and our customers. “‘Forever Chocolate’ is an open invitation to work with us in finding structural solutions to the sustainability challenges in the chocolate supply chain. Without sustainability, there cannot be growth. By taking on the challenges we face as an industry, we will make ‘Forever Chocolate’ a reality.”

Despite industry’s efforts, there are a number of structural issues in the chocolate supply chain, including low productivity on cocoa farms as a result of poor agricultural practices, nutrient depleted soil and aging cocoa trees that are keeping many farmers in a state of poverty.

Poverty prevents cocoa farmers from investing in their farms and new practices to increase productivity that would boost their incomes. In addition, poverty keeps farmers from hiring professional workers, forcing them to rely on their family members, including their children, to work the fields.

Sustainable chocolate also requires more than sustainable cocoa, according to the chocolate company. It requires achieving zero net deforestation and curbing carbon emissions for the production of any chocolate ingredient or chocolate product.

Barry Callebaut will publish a report on the progress it is making towards the four targets it has defined each year.

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