Australia’s major chocolate manufacturers have each committed to using sustainably sourced cocoa in their locally produced products in a bid to assist world cocoa growers.
All major manufacturers – Mondelez (Cadbury), Nestlé, Mars, Ferrero, Haigh’s, Lindt and others – have committed to using cocoa that will give long-term sustainability to the cocoa growing industry, as well as protecting children from the worst forms of child labour and human trafficking.
The commitment by companies to reach fully sustainably sourced cocoa varies in timing, but it is one all major manufacturers have publicly made, according to head of the confectionery sector at the Australian Industry Group, Tim Piper.
“The largest Australian chocolate manufacturers are committed to a long-term, improved cocoa-growing outlook," Piper said.
"All of them have used sustainably sourced cocoa for some time, but the commitment has ramped up in recent years."
The collective efforts of manufacturers collaborating with Government, NGOs, communities and families has the aim of reducing child labour and slavery.
“Some companies such as Nestlé have already moved to totally certified cocoa in their Australian retail chocolate products, while all other majors have committed to either full (fair trade) certification or sustainability and support in the near term," he said.
"It's about making sure cocoa growers are employed within an industry that's long-term."
Piper said the growth in chocolate consumption in Australia – in particular, premium chocolate, as evidenced by Cadbury's Coco launch – meant the cocoa-growing sector had the potential to become much more prosperous and self-sustaining in places like Africa.
“The Australian chocolate industry has been working hard to modernise, improve and support African communities, growers and children,” Piper said.