BDSI confirms 81% of cocoa sold in Germany is sourced sustainably

Germany’s BDSI confectionery trade group has confirmed that 81% of cocoa sold in the country is now from sustainable sourcing last year, up 2% on 2021’s figures, as the sector continues progress on transparency policies, writes Neill Barston.

As previously reported by Confectionery Production, the country has been among leaders in Europe in terms of pushing towards delivering legislation on a national level to ensure greater environmental and human rights due diligence.

“In the first BDSI survey for 2011, this share was only around 3% and is now 81%. That is a great achievement by the confectionery industry, which includes all company sizes and also reflects Germany’s pioneering role in efforts to achieve more sustainability in the cocoa sector,” explains Bastian Fassin, Chairman of the BDSI.

As the BDSI noted,  the German sector has placed a key focus on improving the living conditions of smallholders and their families, especially in West Africa. Consequently, many  confectionery manufacturers in the country participate in, or have their own projects and programmes, that empower farmers and their communities to improve their income, make cocoa farming more productive and climate-resilient, protect the environment and fight deforestation, and human rights to be respected in the supply chain. This is done in close cooperation with all those involved along the value chain.

Furthermore as the trade organisation noted,  certification is an important building block for the development of a more sustainable cocoa sector. In particular, it can support companies in complying with the requirements of the future EU deforestation regulation. By the end of 2024, importers of cocoa, chocolate, soybeans, palm oil, coffee, beef, wood and rubber at the EU’s external border will have to prove that their products come from deforestation-free supply chains. Avoiding deforestation becomes part of their duty of care.

In addition, the BDSI is intensively involved in the “Forum Sustainable Cocoa”, a community initiative founded in 2012. In addition to members from the chocolate and confectionery industry and the food trade, the federal government, non-governmental organizations and standard-setting associations such as Fairtrade and the Rainforest Alliance are also involved in this organisation. In 2023, the deforestation-free cocoa supply chain is the central theme of the Sustainable Cocoa Forum.

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