May 25 2021  |  Industry News

Lindt & Sprungli achieves 100% traceable and verified cocoa beans

By Wendy Morley

Lindt & Sprungli has announced the important milestone. As of 2020, 100% of the cocoa beans the company uses are now traceable back to the farmers — a prerequisite for a targeted improvement of the cultivation and living conditions of farmers in the company’s supply chain. This Program is verified by an independent third party.

Lindt & Sprungli launched a sustainability program in Ghana for cocoa beans in 2008

The Lindt & Sprungli Farming Program, launched in Ghana in 2008, is now established in all five countries from which Lindt & Sprungli sources cocoa beans. This program promotes ecological soundness and social responsibility in the cultivation of cocoa beans, ensuring needs are met of farmers, their families and the communities. This is accomplished working with local partners and a dedicated field staff.

Lindt & Sprungli takes on responsibility for every step in the production process, from “bean to bar,” beginning with the purchase of sustainably and ethically produced beans from the Farming Program, and continues with the production of cocoa, chocolate masses and ultimately the final product.

The program teaches farmers about opportunities for income diversification, raising awareness about child labor and fostering the education of children, protecting natural ecosystems, and developing infrastructure

Segregation and verification

As soon as these beans are packed into transport bags and sold by the farmer, they receive a unique barcode. This allows them to be tracked and physically segregated for transport, ensuring that all beans used by Lindt & Sprungli originate from the company’s Farming Program.

The Lindt & Sprungli Farming Program has been verified by an independent third party, the non-profit organisation Earthworm Foundation, since 2015. This organization verifies the activities, processes and effectiveness of the Farming Program and supports local partners.

Dieter Weisskopf, CEO of the Lindt & Sprungli Group, explains the importance of the Program: "The challenges in the cocoa-growing countries for Lindt & Sprungli, as well as for the entire chocolate industry, are very complex. It is therefore extremely important for us to address the issues in a targeted manner with our own Farming Program to directly achieve sustainable improvements. Reaching the interim goal of 100% traceable and verified cocoa beans is an important milestone for us. We will continue to pursue our path with great energy and continuously expand and improve the Program. It is clear — there is still a lot to do.”

The company’s goal is that by 2025 other cocoa products such as cocoa butter will be sourced through sustainability programs such as this one

The pillars

Concrete measures of the Farming Program include training in good agricultural, environmental, and social practices, creating opportunities for income diversification, raising awareness about child labor and fostering the education of children, protecting natural ecosystems, and developing infrastructure.

These goals are achieved through the four pillars of the Lindt & Sprungli Farming Program:

1. Traceability and farmer organization
2. Training and knowledge transfer
3. Farmer investments and community development
4. Verification and continuous progress (internal control system and external evaluation)

The Lindt & Sprungli Farming Program is financed by a price premium per ton of cocoa and additional contributions from the non-profit Lindt Cocoa Foundation. In 2020, around US$12 million were invested into the Program.

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