Forever Chocolate is our plan to make sustainable chocolate the norm. Launched in 2016, the Forever Chocolate targets for 2025 are unique in terms of ambition in the cocoa and chocolate industry. In 2023 we presented our sharpened targets adding new measurable targets for 2030 and beyond.
Forever Chocolate is focusing on four pillars, addressing the material challenges in the cocoa and chocolate supply chain:
- By 2025, more than 500,000 cocoa farmers in our supply chain will have been lifted out of poverty.
- By 2030, we will have mobilized key stakeholders around a transformative cocoa farming model generating living income.
At Barry Callebaut, we aim to transform the way cocoa is produced by enhancing the existing farming model in Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa, and beyond. We firmly believe that focusing on increasing production volumes from a smaller group of farmers, who can then achieve a living income through a combination of better yield, larger farms, and higher farm gate prices, is the key.
Most cocoa farmers are smallholders who handle labor-intensive farming tasks themselves and struggle to make a living income due to the lack of access to necessary farm investments. This is why we focus our activities on providing input support such as subsidized soil inputs, planting material, financial aid for third-party labor services, and additional premiums. We're working closely with farmers to increase their yield and income, and ultimately, guide them towards a living income.
- By 2025, our entire supply chain will be covered by Human Rights Due Diligence, remediating all child labor cases identified.
- By 2030, the farming communities we source from are empowered to protect child rights.
At the core of Barry Callebaut's culture and values is a respect for human rights, forming an intrinsic part of our commitment to building a sustainable cocoa and other ingredients supply chain to make sustainable chocolate the norm. We source ingredients, especially cocoa, from regions where child labor is known to occur, for cocoa, mostly on family owned farms. Under our Human Rights pillar, we envision that all children are able to embrace opportunities and realize their full potential living in communities that are safe and self-reliant for all. We support a system strengthening approach, contributing to existing government structures, and working with multiple stakeholders.
For our direct cocoa supply chain we aim to strengthen our community approach, which is child-participatory and gender sensitive and starts at the local level, engaging with children, parents, families, teachers, schools and community members to create empowered communities that guide their own development and make lasting change for the future. This starts with understanding which farming communities are most at risk, and providing these farming communities with the necessary support through a combination of strengthening the local child protection system, access to quality education and adequate community infrastructure, and improved livelihoods.
At the same time, across both our direct and indirect supply chain, Barry Callebaut applies an overarching human rights due diligence framework modeled after the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct.
- By 2025, we will be forest positive.
- By 2030, we will have decarbonized our footprint in line with global efforts to cap global warming at 1,5 degrees Celsius.
- By 2050, we will be a net zero company.
As part of our commitment to ecosystem protection and stability, Barry Callebaut strives to achieve a forestpositive supply chain and reduce our carbon footprint. Therefore, our ambitions go beyond deforestation-free supply chains and sourcing activities, but also to the long-term and large-scale conservation of forests. At the same time, our aim is to empower communities, helping farmers prosper by increasing the long-term productivity of cocoa farming in environmentally suitable areas while mitigating the impact of climate change, preserving ecosystems and restoring natural biodiversity on existing farmland. Our aim is to inset our carbon emissions through agroforestry and other decarbonization initiatives across our factories and value chain. Our approach is aligned with the emissions reduction trajectory of the Paris Agreement for 2030, and will help us become a net zero company by 2050.
- By 2030, we will have 100% certified or verified cocoa and other ingredients in all of our products, traceable to farm level.
Half of the ingredients we source are cocoa products and the other half include sugar, dairy, palm oil, coconut oil, nuts, and vanilla. Each ingredient we use has a complex supply chain that varies depending on the geographic region where it is grown. We are collaborating closely with our suppliers, engaging in industry-level working groups and striving to increase customer demand for sustainable products while implementing our sustainable sourcing programs across all ingredients. Our goal is to integrate these programs into regulatory frameworks, establish strong government partnerships, and positively shape agricultural policies. We firmly believe that this approach is paramount to amplifying the impact of sustainability on a larger scale. Whenever possible, we are driving impact on the ground by working directly with farmers and cooperatives. In addition to cocoa, we have various origin-based projects covering dairy, coconut oil, palm oil and cane sugar.
Our approach to materiality
As the global sustainability landscape evolves, we are committed to evaluating what priorities and risks our stakeholders in the chocolate and cocoa value chain deem important for us to focus our efforts on. We do this via regularly updating our ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) materiality assessment to align with the evolving needs of our stakeholders and the changing dynamics of our industry.
Our 2023 double materiality assessment showed that our 'Forever Chocolate' strategy is adapting in tandem with stakeholder expectations and is prioritizing areas where significant impacts and risks have been identified.
A clear consensus emerged around five standout topics as being material:
- Supply Chain Traceability
- Climate and Energy
- Biodiversity and Ecosystems
- Workers in the Value Chain
- Affected Communities
Throughout the assessment, these topics consistently emerged as priorities, from a stakeholder, impact and financial perspective. The material topics were approved at the Board of Directors' meeting in April, 2023.