Ferrero has marked World Chocolate Day (7 July) with an update on sustainability and social initiatives in West Africa, releasing its third annual report on the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI).
The CFI focused on distributing 2 million trees in 2020 and 2021 to address deforestation, particularly across West Africa, where much of the cocoa that Australians enjoy in Ferrero products is grown.
In partnership with the Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana governments and leading cocoa organizations, the third annual report showed that while the Covid pandemic presented challenges for cocoa farmers and suppliers, key sustainability goals were still achieved.
Ferrero has now distributed three million trees since commencing its CFI action plan in 2018, with two million trees planted in 2020-2021 alone, and has doubled its initial target for land covered by deforestation risk assessments in 2022. Over 500,000 trees were distributed for off -farm planting, helping to restore forests.
Ferrero Australia and New Zealand managing director Massimo D’Ambrosio said World Chocolate Day was an opportunity to highlight Ferrero’s ongoing efforts to improve the lives of people in cocoa-growing communities and support reforestation initiatives.
“Our cocoa supply chain is 96 per cent traceable to farm level, which enables us to drive positive change with cooperatives and farmers, and 100 per cent of our cocoa is certified as sustainable through international standards such as Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade,” said D ‘Ambrosio.
Ferrero also recently published its second annual full list of suppliers and farmer groups as part of the company’s commitment to transparency on cocoa sourcing; in 2020 and 2021, Ferrero sourced about 90 per cent of its cocoa volume from farmer groups with whom the company has a long-term relationship.
About 75 per cent of cocoa is sourced as cocoa beans, which are physically traceable from farm to Ferrero’s factories.
Ferrero says the CFI and annual supply chain disclosure, alongside its longtime membership of the World Cocoa Foundation and the International Cocoa Initiative are part of a wider commitment to deliver on its sustainability strategy – to improve farmers’ livelihoods, protect human rights, and safeguard the environment.