CHOCOLATE SEASON IS HERE! With the holidays in full swing, chocolate will be found everywhere. To celebrate the warm winter nights, I decided to take a look at how chocolate companies attempt to create a sustainable atmosphere. It is a profitable industry, but the supply chain itself can be unregulated. I like to call the sustainable chocolate initiative as a movement that the chocolate industry is slowly falling into one by one.
In 2009, Mars was the first global chocolate company to attempt the sustainable chocolate initiative. The goal is to have its entire cocoa supply chain certified as a sustainable supplier by 2020. Since then, the idea and movement has spread to other chocolate companies like Lindt & Sprüngli. The format of the sustainable chocolate initiative usually looks something like this:
- Sustainable Sourcing: It all begins with the source. For chocolate, the cocao bean is essential. By procuring the bean in a sustainable manner, a high-quality and nutritious raw ingredient has been found to create better chocolate products. This also incorporates ethical standards/methods for the farmers and suppliers.
- Sustainable Production: Factories play a huge role. By keeping an energy efficient and environmentally friendly atmosphere for workers and the product, we already have a sustainable production line. By reducing carbon emissions and saving energy, we can also have cheaper prices for a higher quality chocolate. Along with that, the work environment will attract better candidates for jobs.
- Sustainable Consumers: It all ends and starts with the consumer. By demanding for sustainable products, we can build up the supply for it. The first two is part of the corporate sustainability responsibility, but the last step is just as essential. Consumers can recycle, reuse, respect, and be resourceful with the chocolate products. By doing little things, this cycle can continue. It can small like recycling the wrapper, or by being proactive and demanding sustainable policies for the chocolate industry.
For more information on what companies like Mars is doing, check out their Twitter or look at cocoasustainability.com.
(Pictures courtesy of thestoryofchocolate.com and Google Images)