In October we launched Cocoa Compass, our sustainability ambition for the future of cocoa. We set out challenging goals that address the issues facing the sector, from supporting farmers to earn a living income, to putting children first by eliminating child labour and increasing access to education, to protecting forests and mitigating our environmental impact.
These interconnected problems cannot be solved overnight. Delivering transformational change for cocoa communities and landscapes on a global scale depends on achieving certain milestones that anchor us along the way. We have now met the first of these; our goal to have 100% traceability of the cocoa we purchase directly in our global supply chain. This means we can now trace all the cocoa we buy directly back to the farm or community it came from, covering two thirds of all the cocoa we source worldwide.
Why is this so important? Because it is crucial in unlocking the answers to eradicating child labour and deforestation. Through a centralised system, we can now trace cocoa on its journey from the cocoa farm or community to one of our ingredient processing facilities across the world. That’s the equivalent of tracking approximately 12% of the world’s cocoa beans.
This means that our customers, and their consumers, can be sure that their cocoa or chocolate product has been produced in a way that supports the most vulnerable people and environments in the supply chain. And it allows us to tailor sustainability programmes to the specific needs of farmers and cocoa growing communities for maximum impact.
Getting to this point has been a huge undertaking. It has relied not only on the dedication of our team, but also on our customers. I want to thank them for their ongoing support and commitment to driving sustainable impact at scale. And similarly, the cooperation of national governments, NGOs and industry partners has been vital. Above all, it is down to the farmers and the relationships we have built with their communities over two decades and further strengthened through our on the ground sustainability programmes.
Achieving 100% traceability in our direct supply chain is just the start. We continue to push towards our longer-term ambition of a cocoa supply chain where farmers are earning a living income, communities can thrive, and the natural world is protected. There will be challenges ahead, and times when we don’t have all the answers, but I have every confidence that we will see our vision through.
Read our Cocoa Compass update to find out more.