The Ferrero Group has announced it has achieved its 2020 goal of sourcing 100% sustainable cocoa via independently managed standards and that it will work to ensure full visibility and traceability of its cocoa across its supply chain with proper due diligence.
It also disclosed, for the first time, its tier-1 suppliers and all cocoa farmer groups from which the company sourced cocoa and chocolate during the 2019/2020 season. This disclosure is now possible due to Ferrero’s effort to improve transparency across its cocoa supply chain, aiming to source all cocoa from dedicated farmer groups through supply chains which are fully traceable to farm level, it said.
Ten years ago, Ferrero made a commitment to source 100% sustainable cocoa beans via independently managed standards by 2020 to help improve cocoa farmers’ living conditions and foster sustainable practices. In 2019, the company broadened the scope of this target to include the chocolate sourced from third parties. Ferrero said it is proud to confirm that it has achieved this goal.
Leading certification bodies
In practice, this means that Ferrero sources sustainable cocoa through leading certification bodies and other independently managed standards such as Rainforest Alliance (UTZ), Fairtrade, and Cocoa Horizons. This ensures that the company can optimally benefit from their different strengths, enriching its overarching cocoa sustainability strategy, which continues to develop.
Ferrero said it is seeking to go further with its Ferrero Farming Values Cocoa programme, particularly in protecting children’s rights.
Save The Children
In a fresh announcement, it said it is renewing and extending its strategic partnership with Save the Children, building on the three-year programme launched in 2017 in 20 communities across Côte D’Ivoire.
The co-funded €8m ($9.42m) project is anticipated to last for five years. It is expected to directly benefit 37,000 children and adults, and a total of 90,000 through mass awareness and outreach activities. This is a major action pledge as part of the UN’s International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.
Marco Gonçalves, Chief Procurement & Hazelnut Company Officer: “We continue to address the crucial human rights issues around our supply chains and to strengthen our due diligence. However, child labour in cocoa growing communities remains a significant issue, and we’re determined to go further to meet the challenge. That is why I am so pleased that we are extending our partnership with Save the Children with a particular focus on prevention to grow our impact on this issue. That way we can help drive meaningful long-term change, not only in our direct supply chain but also beyond.”
Cocoa sourcing strategy
Ferrero explained that its cocoa sourcing strategy is based on a distinctive set of principles that enable the company to implement due diligence throughout its supply chain and apply targeted solutions. It mainly sources raw cocoa beans that are processed in Ferrero’s own plants.
The beans are sourced as physically traceable – also known as ‘segregated’ – from dedicated farmer groups. This means that the company knows from which farms the cocoa comes from, which helps to identify issues and drive positive change on the ground together with cooperatives and farmers.
In the 19-20 crop season, Ferrero claimed to have managed to trace over 95% of its total cocoa beans back to the farms and it is strongly advancing on the traceability of the chocolate sourced from third parties. Also, the company is making considerable progress on mapping the farmers in its supply chain as part of its commitment to prevent deforestation, and on covering farmer groups with a Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) or equivalent systems.
Another major focus of Ferrero’s programme is to empower women and reduce gender inequality. For example, Ferrero said it has so far supported around 14,000 cocoa community members being mainly women in getting access to small loans for entrepreneurial activities.
These initiatives are part of Ferrero’s wider commitment to deliver on its sustainability strategy – to improve farmers’ livelihoods, protect children’s rights, and safeguard the environment.