Forever Chocolate

BARRY CALLEBAUT ‘FOREVER CHOCOLATE’ PROGRESS REPORT

Last Updated on January 1, 2021 by monica chan

Barry Callebaut releases its fourth ‘Forever Chocolate’ report highlighting their achievements and progress towards the goal of making sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025.

Forever Chocolate is tackling four challenges:

PROSPERING FARMERS

Over 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty by 2025

GOAL – By 2025, more than 500,000 cocoa farmers in their supply chain will have been lifted out of poverty.

Despite the challenges on Covid-19, they have continued and mapped 181,861 farms on geographic and socio-economic data, covering 72% of their direct supply chain in 2019/2020.

The mapping allows them to design Farm Business Plans (FBPs), which provides the farmer with a custom journey to improve their income to a point that they are above the poverty line.

The plans take into account their individual situation and farm profile, and may include individual coaching, agricultural inputs, use of tools and diversification. This year over 41,178 farmers have adopted FBPs.

The company additionally distributed over 2.0 million cocoa seedlings and over 1.6 million shade trees during this time.

To measure their progress towards their goal to lift over 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty by 2025, they are using the International Poverty Line definition of extreme poverty of USD 1.90/day to mark the starting point.

The plan is built on the two pillars of increased productivity and income diversification. In the report, they estimate 143,233 cocoa farmers in their supply chain are now above the poverty line.

It will be interesting to see if that is a sustained figure as cocoa prices fluctuate.

Getting to Zero. Child Labour.

Eradicate child labor from our supply chain by 2025

GOAL By 2025, Barry Callebaut wants to eradicate child labour from their supply chain.

To help identify and address child labour in their cocoa supply chain, they continued to roll out child labour monitoring and remediation systems based on the industry practice as developed by the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI).

It must be recognised that auditing is not straightforward, and can be expensive, so the verification process should bear scrutiny.

To undertake monitoring and remediation Barry Callebaut work on the ground in cocoa origin countries, visiting households and communities to identify children at risk of child labour.

The companies monitoring and remediation systems cover 113 farmer groups, including 39,909 farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Cameroon. In 2019/20, 94,946 farmers were trained on child labour awareness.

Awareness training seems to be an odd choice for use of budget, unless it was combined with other policies. We expect the reality is that child labour is being used because it is cheap and available. Awareness training feels a bit of a naive approach.

In fact the company wrote that despite the training, they found a strong increase in the fiscal year of 22,965 cases of child labour in their cocoa supply chain.

They claim this to be due to the application of a broader definition of what constitutes the worst forms of child labour in Ghana. But for all identified cases, remediation is being prepared. Of the reported cases they found in previous years, 4,971 cases are under remediation.

It seems more progress needs to be made to tackle this challenge.

THRIVING NATURE

Carbon and Forest positive by 2025

GOAL – By 2025, to be carbon and forest positive.

They have made great progress on their journey to become carbon positive by 2025. With carbon reduction efforts in fiscal year 2019/20 have resulted in a –8.1% reduction of our corporate carbon footprint, from 8.5 million tonnes to 7.8 million tonnes CO2e (carbon equivalents).

They achieved these figures by reducing carbon emissions from land use, increased sourcing of certified ingredients and reduced carbon intensity in factories.

More than a third of their 61 processing plants are now fully powered by renewable energy.

Nicko Debenham, Head of Sustainability for Barry Callebaut said,

The successful reduction of our carbon footprint is the result of groundbreaking innovation, partnerships and decisive action.

To meet their targets of ending deforestation, and to become forest positive, they continued to map cocoa farms in their direct supply chain within 25 kilometres of a protected forest area in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Cameroon.

This year they mapped 52,558 farms in their direct supply chain located within 25 kilometers of a protected forest area.

SUSTAINABLE CHOCOLATE

100% sustainable ingredients by 2025

GOAL – By 2025, to have 100% sustainable ingredients in all their products.

In fiscal year 2019/2020, they sourced 61% of their non-cocoa ingredients from sustainable sources, that’s a 13% increase from the previous year.

Barry Callebaut’s global Gourmet brands, Callebaut, Cacao Barry and Carma have claimed to successfully implement a 100% sustainable cocoa supply chain.

In order to provide more clarity on how the market for sustainably sourced cocoa is developing, they are for the first time reporting on the percentage of cocoa and chocolate products sold that contain sustainably sourced cocoa.

In 2019/20, 37% of the cocoa and chocolate products that they sold contained sustainably sourced cocoa. 

This year, the premiums from the purchase of Cocoa Horizons products (their preferred vehicle to enable the implementation of sustainability activities) generated CHF 17.7 million (US$19.9 million) in funds.

These funds are invested into their ‘Forever Chocolate’ goals of achieving: Prospering farmers, Zero child labour, Thriving Nature and Sustainable chocolate.

Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group commented,

If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic is underlining the importance of sustainable supply chains and the relevance of our Forever Chocolate ambition.

We believe that challenging years like this one are the time when further scaling impact, developing new partnerships and executing innovative projects is even more critical!

We simply did not pause on our sustainability ambition in COVID-19 times.

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