Dr Susanne Wiese-Willmaring, head of the food department at the German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt - DBU), emphasises that increasing globalisation is promoting the spatial and cultural distance between consumers and the countries of origin of many products. Intensive research is now to be conducted into the social and ecological effects of consumer decisions and the purchasing behaviour of companies.
With 100% certified cocoa (UTZ/Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, Bio, Naturland) and comprehensive sustainability management, we at Weinrich want to ensure that we bring sustainably produced chocolate to the market. But it is crucial that consumers make their purchasing decisions in favour of fairly and environmentally friendly produced goods.
The current situation in the cocoa-growing countries is characterised by child labour, exploitation, deforestation and the loss of biodiversity. The goal of the research team, which consists of scientists and practitioners, is to develop sustainable supply networks that improve the living and working conditions of cocoa producers and protect the environment in the growing regions. At the same time, recommendations are to be derived, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, on how sustainability information can be passed on effectively along the value chain.
The DBU is funding the project under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Martin Franz with 450,000 euros.