Media Release | ocoa Beans Supply Chain in Ghana fully Traceable and Verified
Kilchberg, September 30th, 2016 – Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG achieves its 2016 cocoa beans commitment which states that by 2016 the entire cocoa beans supply chain from Ghana is traceable and also verified.
Lindt & Sprüngli is one of the few chocolate manufacturer that has the control over every step of the production process in-house, from the selection of the finest cocoa varieties through to the finished product. This is one of the most fundamental criteria for a transparent and traceable cocoa supply chain – a task Lindt & Sprüngli does not want to delegate to others.
For that reason, the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program was initiated in 2008. In this program, Lindt & Sprüngli works on long-term relationships with the farmers and pays a price premium for every ton of cocoa beans sourced. The aim of the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program is to improve farming practices and the livelihood of farmers and their communities. Organizing the farmers and establishing traceability build the base for all activities to improve the farmers’ and communities’ living condition. Therefore it is essential to know who grows the cocoa and what the local conditions are in order to support the farmers and communities according to their needs. To further improve its sustainability credentials, Lindt & Sprüngli initiated in 2012 a program of external verification of its cocoa supply chain. The verification is carried out by an independent 3rd party, which assesses all elements of the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program and gives recommendations for further improvement.
Total investment by the Lindt & Sprüngli Group through its Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program for cocoa in all countries will be more than CHF 8 Mio in 2017, with focus on Ghana. In addition, the Lindt Cocoa Foundation (www.lindtcocoafoundation.org) will also support the program with close to USD 2 Mio in 2017.
About the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program in Ghana:
Lindt & Sprüngli launched its Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program in Ghana in 2008 and has continuously developed it since then. Our local implementation partner is the Non-Profit Organization Source Trust (www.sourcetrust.org). Over 48,000 farmers are now part of the program, which is based on four main elements:
1. Farmer organization and traceability of cocoa beans
Farmers are organized in groups, and traceability systems are established from the farm level up to our factories.
2. Promoting specialist knowledge and skills
Lindt & Sprüngli provides the farmers with training in areas such as good farming practices, environmental and social aspects and good business practices (e.g. crop protection, harvesting, biodiversity, labor rights, professionalization of the farming etc.).
3. Farmer support and community development initiatives
The support given to farmers includes access to seedlings and better farm equipment. Work on the development of communities involves the construction of wells and boreholes for clean drinking water, access to professional training through IT facilities (Village Resource Centers), the distribution of mosquito nets to combat malaria or the reconstruction of a school.
4. Verification and continuous progress
An internal monitoring system reinforces the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program to evaluate the progress made by the farmers, and an external assessment verifies the effectiveness of the program. Remedial measures are introduced if necessary. In 2015, Lindt & Sprüngli started working with The Forest Trust (TFT, www.tft-earth.org) as external assessment partner and became officially a member of TFT in June 2016. At least once a year, TFT visits and evaluates each of the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Programs for cocoa beans. Progress will regularly be communicated on the TFT’s Transparency Hub.
These four main pillars form the solid foundation for the sustainable sourcing of cocoa beans from all origins. The visible progress and achievements in Ghana have encouraged Lindt & Sprüngli to extend the program to further countries where fine flavor cocoa beans are sourced from i.e. Ecuador and Madagascar. It is the aim to cover the entire fine flavor cocoa supply by 2020, also including other countries i.e. South American and the Caribbean. Overall, for 2017, a rate of close to 95% of traceable cocoa beans, and a rate of close to 90% of traceable and verified cocoa beans sourced from all origins for all LINDT products is anticipated.
In Ecuador, the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program was launched in 2014. There, the program focuses especially on professionalizing agricultural practices and fosters the planting of fine flavor cocoa varieties as well as an increased biodiversity. More than 3000 farmers currently participate in the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program in Ecuador, receiving support in form of training from agronomists, distribution of seedlings of high yielding fine flavor cocoa varieties as well as by farmer premiums in the form of useful farming equipment and planting appliances. In 2015, a similar program has been extended to Madagascar.
Together with all suppliers, Lindt & Sprüngli further works on establishing strategies for traceable, sustainable and verified cocoa butter and cocoa powder under the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program criteria. Lindt & Sprüngli started a program for the first time in 2016 and will have achieved a major step in 2017 towards establishing a fully sustainable and verified supply chain for cocoa butter.
Taking the responsibility to control the supply chain from bean sourcing to the finished product is a very complex task, but part of our quality commitment. The coordination of efforts in origin countries between all stakeholders such as farmers, governments and its regulations as well as traders and verification partners is challenging. In spite of all efforts and achievements, improving the livelihood of the farmers producing the high quality cocoa for Lindt & Sprüngli – we do, of course, realize there is still a lot to do. For this reason, Lindt & Sprüngli continues working hard to constantly optimize and further improve the cocoa supply chain under the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program.
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