Nestlé actually did it… well, more specifically, Nestlé Professional UK & Ireland actually did it. The "it" we're referring to is the sourcing of 100-percent certified sustainable cocoa. Yeah, we were surprised, too.
According to FoodBev, Nestlé Professional recently "reached its goal of sourcing 100-percent certified sustainable cocoa for its chocolate confectionery and biscuits." The company states that it's "the first major confectionery company in the hospitality and foodservice sector to do so.”
"As part of Nestlé UK & Ireland, Nestlé Professional works with both UTZ Certified and the Fairtrade Foundation for independent certification that the cocoa it uses is sourced and produced sustainably on farms with safe working conditions," FoodBev reports.
“Our vision at UTZ is that sustainability becomes the norm. Nestlé ’s commitment is a step towards that vision. By buying responsibly grown ingredients, Nestlé helps to improve farmers’ lives, while assuring a stable supply in a turbulent context of climate change and other big challenges,” Daan de Vries, UTZ markets director, said to FoodBev.
While the company (which includes Kit Kat and Aero) has yet to transition to sustainable cocoa, the full-on change is just around the corner -- January 1st, 2016, to be exact. All of Nestlé's sustainable cocoa will be sourced through its Nestlé Cocoa Plan. With the change, the company hopes to help farmers run profitable farms and eliminate child labor. (And the elite tree initiative, which also is part of the program, helps supply "top-quality young trees to farmers," Nestlé states. These trees "have the potential to deliver 20 years’ high yield and quality cocoa beans.")
Currently, Nestlé grows its cocoa (and more importantly, helps farmers) in the following places: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Venezuela, Indonesia, and Ecuador.
To see how well the company is doing and how it has fulfilled its sustainable commitments in 2015, check out the company's regional goals here.
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Image of cocoa from Shutterstock