Sale volumes of UTZ certified cocoa have grown exponentially in the past year driven by commitments by major players such as Mars, Hershey and Ferrero to source 100% sustainable cocoa.
Volume sales of UTZ certified cocoa rose from 42,704 metric tons (MT) in 2011 to 118,641 MT in 2012, a 178% increase.
Mars, Ferrero and Hershey pledges
“The main driver behind this impressive increase is the commitment towards 100% sustainable cocoa by large manufacturers, including Mars, Ferrero and Hershey’s,” said UTZ in it annual report published last week.
Mars was the first of the top five chocolate firms to pledge to use only sustainable cocoa by 2020, using Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade and UTZ Certified. In 2011, the firm’s Mars bars in the Netherlands went UTZ certified.
Ferrero also plans to source 100% sustainable cocoa from third-party-verified sources by 2020 using organizations including UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance and Source Trust, while Hershey is working towards the same goal with UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade USA.
German retailers scale-up on UTZ
“In addition, UTZ saw an increased uptake in Australia and is proud to now be working with five of the top ten retailers in Germany,” said UTZ.
German-headquartered retailers Lidl and Aldi had been using UTZ cocoa for its basic chocolate range, which prompted other chains, such as Rewe and Edeka to follow.
Demand grows in emerging markets
UTZ added that there was increased demand for certified cocoa in emerging markets. For example, private label firm Chocolat Bernrain is now selling products in Mexico, Peru and Indonesia, while German biscuit firm Bahlsen Leibniz is also selling its Minis Choco cookies in Nigeria and Vietnam.
Around half of UTZ Certified cocoa is of Ivorian origin with Ghana, Peru and Indonesia the next most likely origins.
The average weighted premium for UTZ cocoa in 2012 was €112 ($145) per MT. Premiums vary depeding on the origin country.
According to a 2012 study by KPMG, UTZ Certified has lower premiums ($140 per MT) than Rainforest Alliance ($200) and Fairtrade ($200) in the Ivory Coast. Its premium in Ghana were put at $152.40 per MT compared to $200 for Fairtrade and $150 for Rainforest Alliance.