Ferrero announced that they had met their 2020 target on sustainability goals to source 100% of their cocoa through ‘independently managed standards’.
The original commitment was made in 2011, which the company said it hoped would improve cocoa farmers living conditions and foster sustainable practices. It is perhaps with awkward timing then that the President of Ghana announced it would no longer trade raw cocoa beans with Switzerland.
In 2019, Ferrero increased the scope to include materials sourced from third parties and now claims that according to leading certification bodies as well as independent standards such as UTZ, and Cocoa Horizons, they have now met this target.
Ferrero continues to work to ensure full visibility and traceability of its cocoa across its supply chain and proper due diligence by sourcing majority of its cocoa as raw beans, which are processed in Ferrero’s own plants.
The beans are sourced as physically traceable – also known as “segregated”– from dedicated farmer groups. This means that the company knows which farms the cocoa comes from, which helps to identify issues and drive positive change on the ground together with cooperatives and farmers.
In the 19/20 crop season, Ferrero said they managed to trace over 95% of its cocoa beans back to the farms and it is strongly advancing on the traceability of the chocolate sourced from third parties.
Ferrero is also making progress on mapping the farmers in its supply chain as part of its commitment to preventing deforestation, and on covering farmer groups with a ‘Child Labor Monitoring’ and ‘Remediation System’ or equivalent systems.
Another part of Ferrero’s programme is to empower women and reduce gender inequality. So far, Ferrero has supported around 14,000 cocoa community members being mainly women in getting access to small loans for entrepreneurial activities.
These initiatives are part of Ferrero’s wider commitment to deliver on its sustainability strategy, ultimately to improve farmers’ livelihoods, protect children’s rights, and safeguard the environment.
Through the company’s ‘Farming Values Cocoa Programme’, they plan to further invest to protect children in cocoa communities with the renewal and extension of its partnership with ‘Save the Children’.
• Renews strategic partnership with Save the Children through a €8 million project to further scale and strengthen activities to protect children
Ferrero and Save the Children expand partnership
Ferrero is seeking to go further with its Ferrero Farming Values Cocoa programme, particularly in protecting children’s rights.
Ferrero today announces that it is renewing and extending its strategic partnership with Save the Children, building on the three-year programme launched in 2017 in 20 communities across Côte D’Ivoire.
The co-funded €8 million project is anticipated to last for five years. It is expected to directly benefit 37,000 children and adults, and a total of 90,000 through mass awareness and outreach activities. This is a major action pledge as part of the UN’s International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.
The renewed partnership will see scaled up activities in 65 communities in the Ivorian Haut-Sassandra region where Ferrero sources a significant amount of cocoa. The holistic programme will strengthen child protection systems, increase access to quality education and nutrition, support community development and empower women and adolescents.
Ferrero and Save the Children will closely coordinate with national and local authorities and other industry initiatives to create synergies where possible and maximize impact.
A new dimension in the partnership will be for Save the Children to provide strategic guidance and technical support to Ferrero and its suppliers to ensure a harmonized approach on child protection across Ferrero’s supply chain in Ivory Coast and Ghana.
Marco Gonçalves, Chief Procurement & Hazelnut Company Officer: “We continue to address the crucial human rights issues around our supply chains and to strengthen our due diligence. However, child labour in cocoa growing communities remains a significant issue, and we’re determined to go further to meet the challenge. That is why I am so pleased that we are extending our partnership with Save the Children with a particular focus on prevention to grow our impact on this issue. That way we can help drive meaningful long-term change, not only in our direct supply chain but also beyond.”
Daniela Fatarella, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Italy: “Child labour is a major issue in West Africa and has its roots in poverty, and lack of basic education and awareness. Only by trying to address these problems together with key relevant stakeholders, we can manage to make child protection, access to quality education and adolescents and youth empowerment, central assets for the communities’ development. For this reason, we are glad to work together with Ferrero and to support the company’s commitment to contributing to a fair and sustainable cocoa supply chain, in coordination with the relevant actors. Thanks to all these efforts, thousands of children will have significant improvements in their lives.”
Besides working to protect children and communities in its own supply chain, Ferrero is a member of collective initiatives such as the International Cocoa Initiative, and the Cocoa & Forests Initiative. Ferrero has also recently joined a campaign calling on the European Union to strengthen human rights and environmental due diligence requirements of companies in global cocoa supply chains.