Seeds for Change

Our employees contributing to make sustainable chocolate the norm
Seeds for Change - Barry Callebaut

Seeds for Change

Our employees contributing to make sustainable chocolate the norm
Join the movement! Together we make sustainable chocolate the norm. With volunteer Ambassadors motivating 13,000 employees worldwide, Seeds for Change has become the source for sustainable business solutions across the company.

Seeds for Change is Barry Callebaut’s employee engagement program for sustainability, introduced in December 2018. It is an innovative and encouraging way to drive learning and empowerment throughout the organization. With Seeds for Change, we created a program that inspires globally and acts locally. The program arose from the need and desire of our employees to play their part in achieving the objectives of Forever Chocolate, Barry Callebaut’s plan to make sustainable chocolate the norm. Seeds for Change is now led by hundreds of volunteer Ambassadors across our sites worldwide.

The Seeds for Change Ambassadors are leading activities that enable colleagues on-site to have a positive impact, by initiating creative solutions to reduce our carbon footprint, greening our offices and factories, cleaning and brightening up our surroundings. Through these activities, employees are earning pod points that are used to buy seedlings for cocoa farmers participating in our sustainability initiatives. Seedlings have the triple benefit of improving farmers’ livelihoods, capturing carbon, and increasing crop diversity at the farm level. 

Seeds-for-Change_Belgium - Barry Callebaut

Living our purpose & values at work

The Seeds for Change goal is to collect 100,000 pod points, translating into 100,000 cocoa or non-cocoa seedlings donated to cocoa farmers in West Africa, Indonesia and Brazil.

Any activity or initiative that reduces our carbon footprint can be rewarded with pod points, which encourages employees to share their ideas and think creatively.

Through these activities, employees make a positive impact, whilst helping Barry Callebaut to reach our commitments to have more than 500,000 cocoa farmers in our supply chain, lifted out of poverty, and become forest positive by 2025.

A network of change-makers:
Seeds for Change Ambassadors

Hundreds of Ambassadors, employees who have volunteered to drive Seeds for Change at their local site, are coordinating activities around the world, including local planting, no car usage, plastic-free days and many others. Global events are organized across the company, such as our global planting day in May.

Thousands of vegetable seedlings are raised each year by our colleagues and their families and we plant them together in factories, office gardens, upcycled raised beds, botanical gardens and community spaces. 

Seeds for Change ambassadors

Our unique way - Year 2023

Seeds for Change nursery visit Cote Ivoire 2023

Each Barry Callebaut site contributed in its own unique way to Seeds for Change to increase awareness and help make a difference in addressing challenges in cocoa farming communities and in the communities where we live and work. In 2023, 127 employees stepped up to serve as Seeds for Change Ambassadors, representing 49 sites in 29 countries.

This year, we reached an exceedingly high number of people with Seeds for Change activities and collected 296,000 pod points! 
These points translate into investment and we plant 50,000 trees through our agroforestry program in Côte d’Ivoire covering an area of 714 hectares. Seeds for Change also invited more than 300 school kids from Cocoa Horizons communities to visit the Bogouiné, Yeyasso nursery in Man, Côte d’Ivoire. Sharing knowledge about nature protection and how to nurture healthy seedlings was the main objective of the trip. After the visit, we put the knowledge into practice and planted seedlings together around their schools. We crowned the day with a friendly football game and a delicious meal together.

Going nuts - Year 2022

In 2022 Seeds for Change went nuts. Nuts are one of the most popular ingredients in our chocolate and one with a beautiful sustainability journey. Together with 100 Ambassadors around the globe, we spread knowledge about nuts, biodiversity on farms, and bees & pollination.

Our employees collected almost 130,000 pod points globally and we turned these points into investments to support our nut farmers in three regions. On Californian almond fields, we have spread cover crops on so many hectares that it covered the use of all our US almond supply needs. In Spain together with La Morella Nuts, we purchased a machine for our almond cooperative to help Spanish farmers experience the benefits of cover cropping. In the Philippines, we helped coconut farmers to diversify their land by intercropping with cocoa trees.

Seeds for Change Ambassadros Going Nuts
An amazing impact from our employees!
Seeds for Change seedling donation - Barry Callebaut

The magnetic force - Year 2021

With the Seeds for Change community, we created a powerful grassroots movement that works like a magnetic force, pulling us forward, pulling everyone together to be part of our Forever Chocolate movement. In 2021, 160 employees stepped up to serve as Seeds for Change Ambassadors, representing 74 sites in 38 countries.

We reached a record number of pod points, 100,895, which means over 100,000 seedlings donated to our farmers. It also means that almost every Barry Callebaut employee invested 1 hour of their free time in doing good.

In the last three years, our employees have contributed to the planting of more than 200,000 trees to cocoa origin countries, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia and Ecuador. That is the size of 170 football fields! How cool is that?

Going virtual - Year 2020

This year 129 employees stepped up to serve as Seeds for Change Ambassadors, representing 55 sites in 30 countries.

We adapted to the change with virtual and individual activities from home. Thereby accruing 72,271 pod points, which translates into 72,271 CHF. Given the special circumstances this year, we have already used a portion of this amount to support our farming communities with hand washing stations, hand soap, sanitizer kits and reusable cotton masks rather than seedlings.

We are proud to have so far distributed COVID-19 safety material worth 25,000 CHF. Additional pod points will be distributed to invest in COVID-19 protection or seedlings - depending upon the needs of the region.

Cocoa farmer Ghana
Seeds for Change World

An amazing first year - 2019

In the first year of the program together with 162 Ambassadors at 52 sites, we raised almost 60,000 pod points, translating into close to 60,000 seedlings donated to origin countries.

Non-cocoa and cocoa seedlings were donated to farmers, who are already participating in our sustainability program, thus helping Barry Callebaut reach its targets to become carbon and forest positive and have more than 500,000 cocoa farmers in its supply chain lifted out of poverty  (11,727 seedlings to Brazil; 6,340 seedlings to Indonesia and 40,129 seedlings to Cote d’Ivoire & Ghana).


Winner of the edie Sustainability Leaders Awards

Seeds for Change was also recognized at the edie Sustainability Leaders Awards as the leading employee engagement program for the dedication of Barry Callebaut employee’s on improving farmer livelihoods, the environment and the impact of Barry Callebaut’s footprint on the ground. 

Edie sustainability leaders awards Winners

Our previous employee initiative

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