We have partnered with Lumina Intelligence for our next Live ConfectioneryNews’ webinar to explore how brands can better align with the United Nations Sustainable Goals (SDGs) and market ethical chocolate in the growing ecommerce space.
The webinar will discuss findings from Lumina Intelligence’s recent sustainability report, Up to standard: Third-party certification and company programs compared’, which discovered that price-sensitive consumers are failing to engage with sustainable brands in chocolate, coffee and tea markets ‘awash with claims online’.
“The spearhead of sustainability of the last 30 years – sourcing certified volumes – is fighting to prove its worth as companies shift to self-managed sustainability programs,” said Lumina analyst Oliver Nieburg, who is one of the webinar’s guest speakers.
Threats and opportunities
The webinar, broadcast on 12 September 9:30AM CT (Chicago) and 4:30pm CET (Paris), will explore how the thriving ecommerce market provides threats and opportunities to ethical chocolate sold at a premium.
For example, will the old Fairtrade certification claims carry weight online with today’s younger, more socially aware consumers?
This session analyzes consumer responses and price differentials of ethical claims in chocolate.
Inhouse certification programs
Many companies, like Mondelēz International, have introduced their own inhouse certification programs in recent years, eschewing the often much-criticized third-party certification labels - but many of these initiatives ‘often lack transparency in proving their sustainability contribution’, according to Lumina Intelligence.
“These company programs could be impactful but are often shrouded in secrecy. A nebulous mesh of sustainable claims has emerged on products and online, leaving chocolate, coffee and tea consumers struggling to understand what is fair,” said Nieburg.
Mondelēz is the company generating the highest average reviews for its brands with sustainable claims among the global top six, the report found, saying: This is mainly due to the strength of its products carrying Cocoa Life claims’.
Cathy Pieters, director of Mondelēz International's the Cocoa Life program, said: “Our global cocoa sustainability program Cocoa Life is dedicated to making an impact across the entire cocoa sector, and we hold ourselves accountable for creating real change in cocoa-growing communities.”
Pieters, who is also a guest speaker on our webinar, explained more about Cocoa Life. “We have been working closely with Ipsos, our research partner, to refine how we measure and evaluate the impact of the program in our cocoa origin countries. As we develop Cocoa Life’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) approach, we have worked with Ipsos to create papers from the outcome of our investigations. In developing them, we have opened the doors to our program. These papers assess the strengths and weaknesses of our operations, and provide insights and lessons learned from our experience running the program since we launched. Through transparently sharing our knowledge, we hope to lead the way for other organizations in our sector and beyond to learn from our experience, and transform their impact evaluations.”
She said that partnerships are key to a holistic approach and lasting change. “The expertise and outside perspectives of our external advisors from leading environmental, policy and humanitarian organizations help us to evolve and develop Cocoa Life. They challenge us to expand our goals and policies and hold us accountable to continuous improvement.”
The analysis for the webinar is based on Lumina Intelligence’s sustainability research of almost 1,000 chocolate products across 20 countries worldwide. The report analyzed the sustainable claims of 2,800 chocolate, ground coffee and tea products in 20 countries, along with the contribution to sustainable development of each claim.