Nestlé USA announced at the National Confectioners Association (NCA) show that the company is expanding its Nestlé Cocoa Plan responsible sourcing program to its American product offerings.
Starting with its line of everyday Nestle Crunch bars, the company will source all of its cocoa through a global initiative that seeks to help improve the quality of the cocoa supply while enhancing the lives of the people that grow it. The goal is to cull all of the cocoa (certified by UTZ Certified) via the initiative by the end of 2013.
Nestlé USA communications representative Patricia Bowles told ConfectioneryNews that the move represents good business as well as good global citizenship.
“This initiative is responding to a real credible threat to the world’s cocoa supply,” she said, pointing out that demand for the commodity is outpacing output capacity. “That’s why we’re working to improve working conditions for cocoa farmers and educating them about quality.”
Among the actions in the Nestlé Cocoa Plan:
- Setting up “farmer schools,” teaching the people that cultivate the cocoa how to best take care of the supply to ensure the output is of the highest quality
- Giving away high-quality, high-yielding cocoa plants to replace old, woody, or missing ones
- Establishing and refurbishing schools in farm communities, enabling children to obtain an education rather than laboring in the fields
- Improving infrastructure supporting farming and transportation in cocoa-growing communities.
Bowles said that Nestlé’s good deeds will be highlighted on its product packaging with a Nestlé Cocoa Plan seal on the front of the labels, and more in-depth on-pack messaging on the back.
The Nestlé Cocoa Plan, first launched in Switzerland in 2009, is a global effort to improve cocoa sustainability, heighten product quality and ensure the future of the cocoa supply. The initiative has been adopted in a number of Nestlé markets, including the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ecuador.
NGOs have previously criticized the Nestlé Cocoa Plan for neglecting 85% of the company’s total cocoa supply. See HERE.