One of the world’s largest chocolate companies, Cargill, is now leveraging its rainforest alliance certification from the Cocoa Research Institute for its marketing of pure cocoa butter as a natural product.
Referring to the Cargill cocoa promise™, the company is positioning this as a premium product Through their Cargill beauty division.
This white and deodorized cocoa butter offers a fast melting and slippery sensory on the skin while being less sticky and giving a smooth afterfeel. – Cargill Beauty
Sustainable Cocoa is sourced in West Africa from Cargill’s direct network of farmers and from farmer organizations at the centre of the Cargill Cocoa Promise™ program.
They claim that they are conscious of the importance of sustainable and ethical practices in the production of these products, and the beauty division lists some of the sustainability objectives which they started in 2017, and include having full transparency of their cocoa supply chain by 2030. The company lists their objectives:
- Improve farmer livelihoods, in order to help farmers implement efficient, environmentally friendly techniques and teach them about Good Agricultural Practices, for a productivity boost. Farmers benefit from trainings and one-to-one coaching to strengthen their socioeconomic resilience & their communities.
- Community wellbeing : To reach specific community needs with the Cargill Cocoa Promise™, we work with various partners to implement concrete solutions related to healthcare and nutrition, education, addressing child labor, and improving access to economic opportunities for women and young farmers
- Protect our planet. Protect Our Planet is our strategic action plan to eliminate deforestation from the cocoa supply chain. It outlines concrete actions to achieve 100 percent cocoa bean traceability, to expand programs to grow more cocoa on less land, and to support farmers to effectively include agroforestry and conservation practices on their farms.
- Consumer confidence. To help consumers choose sustainable cocoa products with confidence, we seek to provide clear, robust and transparent information, powered by technology, and to partner with third-party certifiers. This applies both to our direct supply chain, which is covered by the Cargill Cocoa Promise™.
- Transformation, together. Farmers and farmer organizations are our key partners to ensure a sustainable supply of cocoa well into the future. Our success is linked to theirs. In order to create a more sustainable cocoa supply chain globally, we work with a multitude of stakeholders across the industry, using individual strengths and abilities for lasting and transformational change.
A company can generate trust from the public if it employs alluring marketing with sustainability initiatives such as Cargills’ Cocoa Promise™ in addition to accreditation for preserving rainforests, which may help in enticing consumers to purchase their products at a premium price.
The claims of sincerity over sustainability would be more plausible if they hadn’t earlier this year deployed their lobbying machine to persuade EU legislators to reverse a decision on supply chain transparency, complaining that it was a very complicated matter and that more time was needed to resolve it.
The company has also been subject to a devastating investigation by Al Jazeera into ongoing child slave labour in their supply chain and were separately named in a lawsuit, along with Nestlé, for modern slavery. The suit was later dismissed on legal grounds.
It’s ironic that the very thing Cargill is lobbying against is precisely what enables it to charge a premium for something so simple as cocoa butter.