The raw materials, we are processing are the heart of our chocolates. A major challenge in sourcing cocoa is gaining transparency in our supply chains, which are more and more complex in today’s global systems. Common problems in the cocoa sector are child labour, small incomes for cocoa producers or ecological problems such as deforestation or the loss of biodiversity.
For ensuring our social and ecological sustainability principles in our chocolates, we only source sustainable certified cocoa since 2014 (organic, Naturland, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or UTZ). This is an important measure to us in order to tackle the mentioned challenges in the cocoa sector. However, we continuously question and aim to improve the sustainability criteria of our products, especially the sourcing of our raw materials.
In order to have an overview of the countries of origin and the sustainability aspects of our cocoa and for constantly improving them, we document certifications of our raw materials. The world map gives an overview of the countries of origin of our cocoa. The pie chart shows the different certifications of our cocoa.
We strive for more close cooperations with cooperatives and cocoa producers in order to continuously increase transparency of our raw materials and to meet our responsibility in the cocoa producing regions. As a Fair Trade Pioneer, we already have a very close relationship since 1996 to a Fairtrade cooperative in Ghana. From the point of purchasing from the cooperative Kuapa Kokoo, the cocoa is 100 % traceable. Annual on-site visits by us and visits by representatives of the cooperative to us in Herford enable a dialogue for mutual needs.
Moreover, we started our Sustainable Organic Cocoa Project in October 2020. With a direct trade relationship with the cocoa foundation Fuparoca in the Dominican Republic we want to fulfill our responsibility towards producers and the environment - by paying an additional premium, supporting workshops on sustainable agriculture and improving access to drinking water for the farmer families.
Even though cocoa is the main ingredient in our chocolates, we use other important raw materials, which we also need to analyse along the whole value chain such as nuts, sugar or milk. Since 2016, we have used certified responsible hazelnuts in all of our organic chocolates labelled with UTZ standard. We also use palm oil in some of our chocolates. We try to avoid this as much as possible, but for some of our filled chocolates we have not yet found an alternative to the special characteristics of palm oil. We are aware of our social and environmental responsibility, which is why we only use organic and RSPO* certified palm oil.
By continuously analysing and looking at our supply chains especially at working and living conditions in the cocoa producing countries, we aim to continuously meet our responsibility regarding our raw material procurement.
*IN 2004, a WWF initiative established the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainble Palm Oil) as a central organisation that seeks to promote sustainable cultivation practices for palm oil and thereby limit environmental degradation.