Luxury Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli has bowed to pressure from a successful online petition to commit publicly to an ambitious anti-deforestation policy for sourcing its cocoa beans.
The campaign organized by SumOfUs, an international consumer group, and environmental NGO Mighty Earth urged Lindt to allegedly stop buying cocoa beans grown on illegal plantations in protected areas that destroy rainforests and wildlfe habitats.
Over 70,000 people signed the petition, forcing Lindt to publish a statement on its website, saying the company “is aware of the issues related to deforestation in cocoa production, and is committed to avoiding deforestation in the agricultural supply chains used for the production of our chocolate products.”
Lindt also responded by listing four main sustainability goals:
- No cocoa bean sourcing from protected areas
- No expansion of land under cocoa cultivation into areas defined by the High Carbon Stock Approach
- Agroforestry systems for cocoa production
- Supporting community forest protection, conservation and reforestation
Lindt says it is currently working towards fully implementing action plans by 2025 to ensure their entire cocoa supply chain is free from deforestation.
“We have have been in a close and constructive dialogue with Lindt for the last few months and we commend the company for committing to anti-deforestation efforts and a forest-friendly ‘agroforestry’ model,” said Christian Bock, campaigner at SumOfUs.
“While there is much work to be done between now and 2025, Lindt’s public commitment is a major step in the right direction. We look forward to seeing a more humane and sustainable Lindt & Sprüngli.”
A Lindt & Sprüngli spokesperson told Confectionery News: "Our commitment to avoid deforestation in our agricultural supply chain has been part of Lindt & Sprüngli’s comprehensive sustainable sourcing strategy. Addtionally, 'No-Deforestation & Agroforestry Action Plans' are implemented as an integral part of our Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program and go even beyond our engagement as member of the 'Cocoa & Forest Initiative'."