Cargill has announced it is the first producer of cocoa to use Rainforest Alliance Certified coconut oil as an ingredient in its coatings and fillings – responding to consumers’ growing demands for sustainably sourced ingredients
Inge Demeyere, managing director of Cargill’s chocolate activities in Europe explained to ConfectioneryNews the background behind the development: “The demand from consumers for sustainably sourced ingredients is well established. Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business is already a leader in implementing standards for cocoa sustainability supporting farmers and their communities through training and expertise with the Cargill Cocoa Promise - so the move to offering coatings and fillings using sustainably sourced coconut oil was a good next step.”
‘Mass balance program for coconut oil’
Cargill’s is the first to apply the Rainforest Alliance Certified ‘mass balance program for coconut oil’ in its products, which means the producer purchases a volume of coconut oil from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms equivalent to the volume used in these products to help protect forests and ensure sustainable livelihoods.
“We use it to replace conventional coconut oil in the current coatings and fillings part of ice cream, bakery and confectionery applications, providing the same great sensory impression and quality as ever, while adding value to our customers’ recipes,” said Demeyere.
Results for 300 coconut producers on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms in the Philippines participating in the first wave of the develoPPP.de program – a joint project with the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, BASF, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) - have been impressive – with a 15% increase in farmer incomes.
Cargill and its partners have also set further targets to train approximately 3,300 smallholder farmers and get at least 825 farmers to produce coconuts in the Philippines and Indonesia following the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agricultural Standard, with the aim of increasing their net incomes by 5-10% by the end of 2019.
Demeyere said: “Ethical brand positioning is an increasingly important driver for our customers’ products and brand enhancement. By providing our customers with supply chain integrity and certified ingredients via products such as our coatings and fillings including coconut oil sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms on a mass balance basis, they can position their products to appeal to the growing number of ethically aware consumers.”