2020 Sustainable Cocoa Pledges “Tall Order”


It may be hard for chocolate makers to guarantee that their entire supply comes from a sustainable source by the 2020 target many of them have set, according to a sustainable sourcing auditing firm has told Confectionery News.

Chocolate giants including Mars, Hershey and Ferrero have committed to purchasing only third-party-certified sustainable cocoa by 2020.

But Intertek’s food and agriculture sector’s director of global development, Bill Rafferty, told the news web site that meeting the 2020 deadline was a “tall order.”

Due to the sheer numbers of farmers that would need to be involved – and the fact that many have yet to undertake sustainability training or an audit yet – Rafferty suggest that a few more years may be needed. He expects 2024 or 2025 is a more realistic target, the web site reports.

Mars made its 100 percent certified cocoa pledge in 2009, Hershey followed suit in 2012. At the time, it did not say what certification program it would be using. In March last year, the company announced it was on track to source at least 10 percent of its total global cocoa purchases from certified sources in 2013. The company is aiming to source 40 percent of its cocoa from certified sustainable sources by the end of 2016.

In September, General Mills announced plans to source its cocoa– and nine other key ingredients – from sustainable sources by 2020.

Picture credit: Cocoa beans via Shutterstock.