Ferrero promises transparency as it sets 2020 target for sustainable cocoa
Post a commentBy Oliver Nieburg, 16-Apr-2012
Related topics: Financial & Industry
Italian confectioner Ferrero has announced its short term goals towards sourcing 100% third-party verified sustainable cocoa by its 2020 target.
An estimated 284,000 children work on cocoa farms in West Africa, according to studies. Photo Credit: ILRF
The 2020 target was revealed in the company’s Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR) last year, but it has now announced short-term goals towards meeting its aim.
Ferrero said it took the decision “in the light of the need for transparency in the cocoa sector”.
Ferrero plans to verify the cocoa it sources through organisations including UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance and Source Trust as follows:
20% by 2011/2013
40% by 2013/2015
60% by 2015/2017
80% by 2017/2019
100% by 2020
In its 2010 Cocoa Barometer, the Tropical Commodity Coalition said that of Ferrero’s 135,000 tonne cocoa none was certified, while Ferrero said in its last CSR for 2009/10 that about 10% was certified.
Source: The Tropical Commodity Coalition’s 2010 Cocoa Barometer
A Ferrero spokesperson told ConfectioneryNews.com: “Unfortunately, no one can today guarantee ‘no child labour’, but verification will aim to ensure, among other issues, that trafficking, the worst forms of child labour and forced adult labour, will be eradicated from the plantations that Ferrero source its cocoa from.”
The spokesperson said sourcing the quantity and the quality needed and potential political instability in producing countries would be big challenges.
The company plans to set out a more detailed roadmap in its third CSR, due mid-2012 and will communicate progress in its CSRs annually.
Antonie Fountain, director of STOP THE TRAFFIK Netherlands told this site: “I’d like to see it faster, but it’s a big step to take.”
He said that Ferrero was among the first to make such a commitment after Mars also made a pledge to go 100% certified by 2020.
The commitments are in line with the 2001 Harkin Engel Protocol to completely elimate the worst forms of child labour by 2005, but will come some 15 years later.
The Harkin Engel target was later revised to a 70% reduction in a Framework for Cooperation signed by the US Department of Labor and the governments of Cote d’Ivoire & Ghana.
Fountain was disappointed that Ferrero had not committed to putting certification on labels.
However, he added that Mars and Ferrero had “set the bar high” for other companies like Nestle and Kraft/Cadbury, which he claimed had yet to make sweeping commitments on sustainable sourcing.