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ECOM, one of the biggest Cocoa bean and ingredient suppliers based in Switzerland, recently released its Smarter Cocoa Charter, which outlines commitments and timelines to achieve the company’s objective of developing a smarter future for Cocoa. The charter is only 2 pages, which is fine – it lists a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) which we’ll start tracking here at Bartalks.

Ecom Smarter Cocoa Charter KPIs

The Smarter Cocoa Charter framework reflects ECOM’s first Cocoa Sustainability Report following the standards set by Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The charter’s foundation has three pillars: improving farmer and worker livelihoods, protecting and regenerating nature, and managing change through transparency and traceability.

We’re thrilled to be launching ECOM’s first Cocoa sustainability report in reference to GRI Standards. Through ECOM’s years of intensive, on-the-ground experience, we have learnt that supporting and engaging with farmers is fundamental to addressing the challenges facing Cocoa growers today. Last year, in co-operation with our clients and donors, we provided training and services to over 200,000 farmers, supporting their income and helping them future-proof their farming techniques.

Pamela Schreier, Senior Global Cocoa Sustainability Manager, ECOM

First brought to the table in 2021, The Smarter Cocoa Charter pulls together all of ECOM’s Cocoa sustainability efforts into a single strategy, with the motivation to expand their impact.

 With more than 170 years of experience as a commodity trader, ECOM is deeply familiar with the social and environmental challenges that come with trading raw agricultural materials within complex global supply chains. Our Smarter Cocoa Charter creates a clear framework by which we can focus our efforts and track our progress towards a sustainable future for farmers and the planet.

Nicolas de Wasseige, Deputy CEO of Cocoa, ECOM.

Improving farmer and worker livelihoods

By the end of 2025, ECOM aims to have all origin-sourced supply chains covered by the Gender Equity Index and development plans. In the same year, the company also hopes to have trained 100 per cent of farmer communities in ECOM origin-sourced supply chains in child protection and prioritisation of education. 

Protecting and regenerating nature

ECOM’s origin-sourced supply chain has been recognised as being at high risk of severe climate change impacts. In response to this threat, the company has pledged to train 100 per cent of farmers in climate-smart agriculture by the end of 2025. Farmers’ individual demands are addressed through climate-smart approaches such as soil management, insect control, and shade management. The Charter also sets a goal of establishing agroforestry models – farming systems that help increase forest cover, sequester carbon, and improve biodiversity and soil health – and monitoring systems in 100 percent of ECOM’s origin-sourced supply chains by the end of 2023 to help diversify income and improve climate resilience.

Managing change through transparency and traceability

By the end of 2025, all beans acquired through ECOM origin-sourced supply chains will have 100 per cent traceability to the farmer organisation/community. In the same year, the company also commits to achieving 100 per cent sustainable beans purchased through ECOM origin-sourced supply chains.

The Smarter Cocoa Charter is the first phase in our ambition to build a smarter future for Cocoa. As we take the next steps in our journey, our focus will be on continually improving sustainability performance throughout our beans, products and processing operations, and elevating the position of sustainability across our business.

Guus de Gruiter, Deputy CEO of Cocoa, ECOM.


  • Nick 2017 500X500 1

    Nick Baskett is the editor in Chief at Bartalks. He holds a diploma from the Financial Times as a Non Executive Director and works as a consultant across multiple industries. Nick has owned multiple businesses, including an award-winning restaurant and coffee shop in North Macedonia.

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