Swiss chocolate industry commits to sustainable cocoa by 2025

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26 Jan 2018 --- Today, the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa was launched, with major chocolate supplier Barry Callebaut as one of the founding members. This platform will play an important role in creating the market pull for sustainably sourced cocoa. 41 players from the Swiss cocoa industry have joined together to form the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa.

The platform members have agreed on the goal that by 2025, at least 80 percent of the cocoa-containing products imported into Switzerland should come from sustainable cultivation. In addition to Barry Callebaut, the founding members include the industry association CHOCOSUISSE, manufacturers, importers, and distributors of cocoa-containing products, Swiss retailers, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), non-profit organizations and research institutions. All members of the cocoa platform are actively and collectively committed to strengthening the sustainability of the cocoa production and value chain. An important advantage of the cocoa platform is that it provides a framework for closer cooperation between the private sector and the public sector. In this way, economic development cooperation, provided in various cocoa-growing countries, can have a greater impact.

After the Netherlands and Germany, Switzerland is now the third country where the chocolate and confectionary industry has committed to a clear target for the sourcing of sustainable cocoa.

Raphael Felenbok, General Manager of Barry Callebaut Switzerland said: “This platform will play a key role in creating the market pull for sustainably sourced products. This is good news for Barry Callebaut's plan to make sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025, it is good news for Carma which is already 100 percent UTZ certified, and it is good news for the entire Swiss chocolate industry.”
 
Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Christiaan Prins, Head of External Affairs at Barry Callebaut said: “Of course our investments in sustainability are around cocoa sustainability. A lot is happening in the industry and not just from Barry Callebaut, but from the entire cocoa industry in terms of improving the lives of cocoa farmers in origin countries.”

“Clearly you need to create a pull factor from the market for sustainable products. In this case, a Swiss chocolate industry to sign up to a clear target is going to be tremendously helpful in terms of building the market for sustainably sourced cocoa and chocolate, so it gives that additional incentive for companies to invest in sustainability. In the end, you need to work on it, on the ground, but you also need to sell it.”

“For us, and our main Swiss brand, they are already 100 percent UTZ certified, so from that perspective, it shouldn’t be challenging but the real challenge is to get a whole industry to commit to sustainable cocoa,” he explains. “And now we need to pull together as an industry to support everyone to make this happen.”

“There are similar platforms in Germany and the Netherlands, and and I think there is definitely a case to be made for other countries to follow suit. Europe is the biggest market for chocolate and cocoa so if we can move it to 100 percent sustainable cocoa, then you will be able to move the rest of the world,” he claims.  

Barry Callebaut will be exhibiting at ISM/ProSweets 2018 next week in Cologne, Germany. Stay tuned with FoodIngredientsFirst, where we will be on hand to share all the key confectionery and snacking insights from the event.

Earlier in the week, the company reported a strong start to the year with sales volumes rising 8 percent in its first quarter ended Nov 30, 2017. During the same period, the global chocolate confectionery market grew 3.1 percent, signaling signs of market recovery.

And CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique,  says he expects the market to continue to recover as sales volumes increased to 532,165 tons in the three months from September to November.

“We had a strong start to the new fiscal year, with significantly above market growth. I am pleased to see that our increase in volume is broad-based, with positive contributions across all regions and good momentum among all key growth drivers,” said de Saint-Affrique.

You can read FoodIngredientsFirst full coverage of the results here.
 
By Elizabeth Green

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