Fazer only uses responsibly produced cocoa and disapproves of Finnwatch’s way to spread misleading information about its cocoa sourcing
Fazer only uses responsibly produced cocoa and the origin of all our cocoa is traceable. Fazer’s responsible cocoa sourcing comprises certified cocoa and cocoa purchased through cooperation with farmers. In 2016, the share of certified cocoa raw material was 63% and, this year, the share is much higher. Certifications are a good tool to secure sustainability, but we want to do more. Therefore, we buy responsibly sourced cocoa also through farmer programmes. The farmers and developing the farming communities are in the focus of our cocoa sourcing.
In its bulleting of 9 December, Finnwatch asks people to sign a petition demanding that Fazer, among others, certify its chocolate. The headline of the petition is “Slave-free chocolate, please” and the picture shows a box of chocolates from Fazer. According to the petition, “product certifications currently are the only way for consumers to secure due responsibility monitoring in chocolate production.”
For several years, we have had a dialogue with Finnwatch and openly shared information about developing cocoa sourcing. Fazer disapproves of the way Finnwatch spreads deliberately misleading information about Fazer’s cocoa sourcing.
Fazer’s cocoa sourcing
Fazer produces chocolate from processed cocoa products – cocoa mass, cocoa butter and cocoa powder. One fourth of the cocoa we purchase comes from Ecuador and three quarters from West Africa. Around 40 % of the cocoa we use is processed in the countries of origin; the rest is processed in Europe.
We only use responsibly produced cocoa and the origin of all our cocoa is traceable. Fazer’s responsible cocoa sourcing comprises certified cocoa and responsibly produced cocoa purchased through farmer partnerships. We use all three certifications: UTZ, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade Cocoa Programme. Using broad-based sourcing, we make sure we will always have a sufficient amount of cocoa varieties with the right taste profiles available – even if something happens at the farms (for example, the earthquakes in Ecuador). Our products carry no certification labels because we have chosen not to prefer one system over the others. In 2016, the share of certified cocoa raw material was 63% and, this year, it is much higher. Certifications are a good tool to secure sustainability, but we want to do more.
Fazer has produced chocolate for over 120 years and our experience from cocoa sourcing is equally long. The farmers and developing the farming communities are in the focus of our cocoa sourcing. It is estimated that up to 80 per cent of the world’s five million cocoa farmers are not covered by any certification schemes. In our opinion, developing the livelihoods of farmers who are outside the certification schemes through the farmer programmes is the right and responsible thing to do.
Our farmer programmes in Ecuador and Nigeria cover over 6,000 farmers. The elements of the farmer programmes are education and monitoring the use of child labour, premiums paid out to farmers and supporting the farming communities through different projects, responsibility requirements, monitoring, reporting each tertial as well as traceability down to the farmer and farm level. The farmer programmes are audited by a third party.
The share of premiums paid to farmers equals 10 per cent. This means that we use millions of euros every year to develop the cocoa farming communities. Through the farming programmes, we can very closely follow up on how the premiums have been used and what has been achieved. According to the feedback we get from the farmers, they feel the programmes work well and they want to be part of them. This feedback encourages us to continue developing cocoa farming in cooperation with the entire chain.
Fazer Confectionery Ltd
Liisa Eerola, Director, Confectionery Communications & Group Partnerships,
tel. +358 44 710 8860
Fazer’s media phone is open on weekdays 8:00 - 16:00, tel. +358 40 668 2998
Emails are in the form firstname.lastname@example.org
Fazer is an international family-owned company offering quality bakery, confectionery, biscuit and grain products as well as food and café services. Fazer operates in eight countries and exports to around 40 countries. Fazer’s success, ever since its establishment in 1891, has been based on the best product and service quality, beloved brands, the passion of its skilful people and the Group’s responsible ways of working. In 2016, Fazer Group had net sales of 1.6 billion euros and nearly 15,000 employees. Fazer’s operations comply with ethical principles that are based on the Group’s values and the UN Global Compact.
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