Nestlé New Zealand and Nestlé Australia announced today that all chocolate it produces in both countries is now independently certified to ensure the cocoa is sourced and produced sustainably on farms with safe working conditions.
More than 3,000 tons of UTZ Certified Cocoa is now being used to produce iconic favourites such as Kit Kat, Smarties and Milky Bar.
Nestlé’s, New Zealand Manager of Corporate Services, Maurice Gunnell said the Nestlé Cocoa Plan is helping farmers to run profitable farms, eliminate the use of child labour and ensure a sustainable supply of cocoa.
“Our work with West African cocoa farmers is helping to address the issues facing the farmers and their communities, while giving Australian and New Zealand consumers the confidence that the cocoa in them has been produced sustainably,” Mr. Gunnell said.
“This is a direct outcome of our 10 year $NZ140 million global Nestlé Cocoa Plan commitment to provide a better life for farmers their families and communities.”
The Nestlé Research and Development Center in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire a country which supplies Nestlé with the bulk of its cocoa, has been central to the Cocoa Plan, breeding high yield disease resistant plants and working alongside farmers to improve their practices.
R&D HeadDr Serigne Diop, visiting Australia this week, said that almost all cocoa farmers have small landholdings with ageing trees, and as a result, have seen productivity of their farms diminish.
“We believe you cannot have a socially sustainable business if your farmers, your suppliers, are not being paid a fair price and cannot see a future for themselves as farmers,” Dr Diop said.
The Nestlé Cocoa Plan is:
- Supplying farmers with 12 million higher yielding, disease-resistant cocoa trees to replace ageing unproductive trees.
- Training farmers on efficient farming methods and responsible work practices through farmer field schools and field demonstrations. Around 27,000 farmers were trained last year.
- Paying farmers a premium for sustainably produced cocoa.
- Working with NGOs and the governments of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana to stamp out forced labour practices in the cocoa industry.
- Working with the World Cocoa Foundation to build or refurbish 40 schools to improve educational opportunities.
Consumers will be able to choose the sustainable Nestlé chocolate blocks and bars by looking for the UTZ Certified symbol on-pack as it is progressively added to packs.
Nestlé Cocoa Plan
Nestlé’s 10 year Cocoa Plan was launched in 2009 backed by an investment of CHF110 ($NZ140 million). The Plan addresses the key issues facing the cocoa industry and Nestlé is working with farmers and partner organisations to build programs that offer long term solutions from an economic, social and environmental perspective.
UTZ Certified is a labeling scheme to promote sustainable farming of coffee, cocoa and tea. The mission of UTZ Certified is to create a world where sustainable farming is the norm; where famers implement good agricultural practices and manage their farms profitably with respect for people and planet, industry invests in and rewards sustainable production and consumers can enjoy and trust the products they buy.
Fair Labor Association
The Fair Labor Association combines the efforts of NGOs, universities and businesses to ensure products are produced fairly and ethically. In 2012 FLA commissioned a team of 20 local and international experts to conduct an assessment of Nestlé’s cocoa supply chain in the Ivory Coast and published a detailed report with recommendations.
For further information:
Manager Corporate Services
Nestlé New Zealand
Ph (09) 367 2881
Mobile 027 5788 997