Barry Callebaut aims to make sustainable chocolate the norm with its new strategy.
According to the Hartman Group, a new report, Sustainability 2017: Connecting Benefits With Values Through Purposeful Consumption, reveals that nearly 70 percent of 1,500 US adult consumers surveyed expressed a desire for more transparency from companies about their sustainability practices.

In the chocolate sector, Barry Callebaut recently published the first Forever Chocolate progress report. A year ago, Barry Callebaut launched its new sustainability strategy, “Forever Chocolate,” with the ambition of moving sustainable chocolate from niche to norm by 2025. The plan is based on four ambitious targets that address the largest sustainability challenges in the chocolate supply chain.

  • Lift more than 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty.
  • Eradicate child labor from its supply chain.
  • Become carbon and forest positive.
  • Have 100 percent sustainable ingredients in all
    its products.

“Forever Chocolate requires a systemic change, a new approach to cocoa farming that not only professionalizes farmers but also generates social and environmental benefits to cocoa farming communities,” says Antoine de Saint-Affrique, chief executive officer of the Barry Callebaut Group. “If we cannot resolve the issue of cocoa farmer poverty, we will not reach our other targets.”

In 2016-17, according to the report, Barry Callebaut sourced 36 percent of its cocoa from sustainable sources. This is an increase of 13 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year. In addition, the group sourced 30 percent of its non-cocoa ingredients from sustainable sources.

Barry Callebaut’s Forever Chocolate progress report was third-party verified by Denkstatt GmbH, in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) principles.

Barry Callbaut's Forever Chocolate has four targets. Click to enlarge.
To empower farmers to increase productivity, Barry Callebaut had about 157,000 farmers involved in one of its sustainability programs on good agricultural practices in 2016-17. Barry Callebaut developed a Farm Services business that offers cocoa farmers products and services that improve their productivity. These packages can be bought by cocoa famers on credit and include training on good farming practices, access to financial services, access to improved planting materials and access to farm inputs.

In addition, Barry Callebaut started mapping 90,000 cocoa farmers in its supply chain, to understand where they are farming and to prevent the company from sourcing from farmers located in protected forest areas. Barry Callebaut is creating for all its non-cocoa ingredients a heat map of those agricultural raw materials at risk of contributing to deforestation. The company is also updating its supplier code to make sure all non-cocoa agricultural ingredients are deforestation-free by 2025.

To become carbon positive by 2025, Barry Callebaut has developed a roadmap to a carbon-positive way of manufacturing, and pilots have been defined for solar and wind energy, focusing on Africa, the United States and Europe. Barry Callebaut is also looking at three other main renewable energy sources: energy from waste, energy from water and renewable energy storage. 

Good Food Awards

The nation’s leading food producers, grocers, chefs, journalists and activists united in January in San Francisco to honor the 199 Good Food Award winners of 2018. An annual awards ceremony now in its eighth year, the Good Food Awards recognizes American food and drink crafters who demonstrate a commitment to creating tasty, authentic and responsible products and in doing so, better the nation’s food system.

The 2018 winners are not only commended for their creativity but also for their sustainable production methods that showcase the highest social and environmental standards. These producers protect the land, continue to push the bounds of their craft, and respect their peers, all the while redefining the breadth of the American table. 

This year, the Good Food Awards distinguished value-added food and beverage products in 15 categories (beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, cider, coffee, confections, elixirs, fish, honey, oils, pantry, pickles, preserves, spirits). Notably, these foods and beverages collectively represent over $200 billion of America’s gross domestic product, a sum that is larger than the cattle and pork industries combined.

The 2018 winners come from 34 states and Washington, D.C, emerging to the top among 2,057 entries in a blind tasting with 277 judges held in September. The highest scoring entries were submitted to a rigorous vetting process to verify they met the sustainability and social responsibility criteria to win a Good Food Award. Of the 199 winners selected from 280 finalists, 113 companies (57%) are first-time winners.

For more information on the complete list of winners, visit the Good Food Awards website.