Blommer Chocolate’s cocoa sustainability plans enhanced by Satelligence partnership

US-based Blommer Chocolate’s supply chain strategies have gained a valuable boost from a partnership with Satelligence, an established specialist in geospatial sustainability, focused on the confectionery group’s cocoa farming network, writes Neill Barston.

The Chicago firm, which operates a total of 16 plants around the world, has placed a strong emphasis on producing premium product ranges that are responsibly sourced, which has seen the business join the World Cocoa Foundation.

Consequently, the company, which was acquired by the Fuji Oil Group in 2018, has sought to enhance its sustainability credentials further, with its latest venture targeting eradication of deforestation risk from its supply chains.

This has begun with an analysis of its cocoa farming network, meaning  Satelligence’s analysis will allow Blommer, which has a manufacturing heritage dating back to the 1930’s, to capture carbon and gain insights that will inform the confectionery company’s roadmap to deliver on its science-based scope three emissions reduction targets.

Notably, the scalability of satellite platform has proved significant draw for the US business, which stands as reportedly the country’s largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier, which will seen initial areas covered of around 50,000km² across Ivory Coast, Ghana and Ecuador.

As Satelligence, which has worked with other key companies across the sector, including Cargill, Tony’s Chocolonely, and Bunge, explained, it uses uses its E&Y certified methodology which combines satellite imagery, AI-driven algorithms and ancillary data on cocoa farm locations. The picture that emerges will bolster Blommer’s sustainability strategy with landscape and farm level insights. This includes canopy cover change, carbon loss/gain on and around cocoa farms, risk triaging for deforestation on high/low risk farms, identifying areas of shade cocoa and monitoring for carbon sequestration.

Furthermore, the company added that its methodology allows it to distinguish between deforestation and regrowth clearing. A real-time risk alerting system was implemented that enhanced the chocolate and cocoa group’s capacity to swiftly address the drivers of forest loss and degradation, enabling it to meet international compliance standards.

The geospatial specialists prepared a report on land cover change in the area analysed between 2001 and 2021, as well as a Forest Loss Risk Index (FLRI) that rated their concessions on the farm level between 0 and 1, with 1 being almost certain and 0 being the least likely to cause forest loss.

Moreover, Satelligence’s asserted in its conclusion that “no clear trends are visible from year to year for deforestation” in Blommer’s cocoa supply chains, which it claimed showed that deforestation has remained consistently low in the company’s supply chains. As the mapping technology firm added, the encouraging initial results should serve as strong foundation to focus on a robust strategy for monitoring environmental risk in global supply chains.

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