Cocoa is often grown in countries with difficult living and working conditions. To counter these challenges, Lindt & Sprüngli is committed to sustainable cocoa cultivation. More specifically: Lindt & Sprüngli focuses on the diversity of cocoa trees, high-quality beans and better working and living-conditions for cocoa farmers.
The causes of poverty among cocoa farmers are complex. Small cultivation areas, low productivity and high input and transportation costs challenge the cocoa farmers’ incomes. And they sometimes lead to child labor. To tackle these challenges, Lindt & Sprüngli is committed to close cooperation with cocoa farmers and improving their livelihoods within the framework of the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program. To ensure the long-term supply of fine flavor cocoa and higher yields for cocoa farmers, Lindt & Sprüngli also fosters research in cocoa varieties.
Compared to the global harvest, Lindt & Sprüngli uses an exceptionally high percentage of fine flavor cocoa bean varieties. For the environment, the customers and the cocoa farmers, Lindt & Sprüngli takes the necessary steps to preserve the diversity of these cocoa varieties.
Worldwide, the natural and genetic diversity is threatened - the number of planted cocoa varieties has decreased in the last few centuries. Genetic diversity plays an important role in the survival and adaptability of species and their disease resistance. Genetic research on precious cocoa varieties therefore helps to ensure the long-term supply of cocoa and to preserve the cocoa bean flavors and variety. Such projects serve not only the quality assurance in the service of customers, but also the diversity of cocoa varieties - and they ensure higher yields for cocoa farmers.
Lindt & Sprüngli already supported research activities for improved cocoa varieties of different organizations, such as the University of the West Indies in Trinidad or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Currently we also partner with the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE). The Costa Rica based institute has the second-largest collection of cocoa varieties worldwide and works on the Cacao Genetic Improvement Program. In 2007, the Program released a group of six high-yielding and frosty-pod-tolerant clones for distribution to farmers, which are now present in all Central American countries, Mexico, Brazil, and soon in Bolivia. More than 200 clones are under evaluation in different field trials. Going forward, CATIE will put an emphasis on the quality of these varieties, and established an in-house quality laboratory. The funds provided by Lindt & Sprüngli cover the costs to obtain, prepare, and process samples for quality analysis in the laboratory.