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Barry Callebaut sets new sustainability targets

The chocolate company details an ambitious four-pronged approach to sustainability.
Demo farm near Tiassalé in Ivory Coast
Demo farm near Tiassalé in Ivory Coast

Barry Callebaut Group released new sustainability targets. The chocolate manufacturer’s new “Forever Chocolate” targets build on its 2025 goals and adds additional targets for 2030.

Originally launched in 2016, the group’s “Forever Chocolate” aimed to make its practices more sustainable by 2025 through measurable targets. 

“Our Forever Chocolate targets are dynamic by design. The requirements of a sustainable cocoa and chocolate supply chain are constantly evolving and transforming. Plus, since the start of Forever Chocolate, we continuously generated new insights through data analysis and engagement with experts,” said Steven Retzlaff, president of global coca for Barry Callebaut. “We therefore wanted to add fresh ambition to our Forever Chocolate plan with more focus on impact on the ground beyond compliance, on supporting and empowering beyond training, and on a systemic approach beyond individual intervention. This is why we have sharpened our existing Forever Chocolate targets and added additional targets extending our impact beyond 2025.”

[Read more: "Barry Callebaut Group appoints new CEO"]

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Pruning by a team of farm workers
Pruning by a team of farm workers in Ivory Coast.

In a webcast on Tuesday, representatives from the company presented Barry Callebaut’s ambitious plan and detailed four key areas it will target: farming, human rights, nature and sustainable ingredients. 

  1. Through its first pillar, “prospering farmers”, the group has shifted its focus from training its global farmers to implementing practical steps. The group said it remains on track to lifting 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty by 2025. In addition to lifting farmers from poverty, the group has now committed to supporting and implementing a cocoa farming model that will help more farmers in its supply chain generate a living income. 

Until now, the group says it has lifted almost 215,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty since Forever Chocolate’s inception in 2016.

  1. The second pillar, “human rights”, focuses largely on eradicating child labour from its supply chain. By 2025, the group said its entire supply chain will be covered by Human Rights Due Diligence, remediate all identified child labour cases and help empower the farming communities it sources from to protect human rights by 2030. 

So far, Barry Callebaut claims that 81% the farmer groups that it directly sources from have systems in place to prevent, monitor and remediate child labour. 

  1. In its third pillar, “thriving nature”, Barry Callebaut says it is working hard to align with the emission reduction trajectory of the Paris Climate Agreement. The group says it will shift its focus from offsetting carbon emissions to insetting CO2 through agroforestry. The group says it will decarbonize its footprint by 2030 and become a net zero company by 2050.
Meeting of a village saving and loan association
Meeting of a village savings and loans association.

[Read more: “2022 Sustainability Report”]

  1. With its fourth pillar, “sustainable ingredients”, the group aims to establish industry-wide standards and programs to sustainably source raw materials. It says it will have 100% certified or verified cocoa ingredients in all of its products, traceable to farm level, by 2030. 

Barry Callebaut says that so far, 1-in-2 of all of its products sold contain 100% sustainable chocolate or cocoa. 

“It is clear that we cannot reach these targets on our own. For Forever Chocolate to become a reality, we need public intervention to drive structural change beyond our direct supply chain,” added Retzlaff. 

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