By Maggie Gioia | Marketing Coordinator
This past February, Ferrero announced the reinforcement of their “Cocoa Charter” and “Action Plan” to show their further commitment to sustainability efforts.
Ferrero’s sustainability strategy is unmatched by their competitors, as all their business endeavors are governed by a four-pillared approach — protect the environment, source ingredients sustainably, promote responsible consumption, empower people. Through these pillars, Ferrero challenges the industry to take a better look in the mirror and raise the bar.
This unwavering dedication to integrity, innovation and community welfare stretches back in time. Upon their 1946 founding in Alba, Italy, the Ferrero family asserted that their generational and familial practices would forever define their company culture — valuing people and the planet above all else.
To demonstrate their long-standing devotion to sustainability, Ferrero has been tracking their impact on the environment and local communities since 2009. In a comprehensive, yearly Sustainability Report Ferrero evaluates if they met the goals of each pillar and if not, how they can improve.
While the 2021 report has not been released just yet, their 2020 results suggest that 2021 has only brought continued growth to Ferrero, with even greater advancements to come in 2022, such as their Cocoa Charter and Action Plan initiatives.
Armed with their extensive internal and external research, Ferrero established the Cocoa Charter and Action Plan to reaffirm their commitment to meeting and exceeding their four pillars, particularly within the cocoa supply chain. To do this, the charter and action plan aim to create and uphold sustainable livelihoods, preserve human rights, increase environmental protections and expand sourcing transparency across the cocoa value chain and within developing communities.
“The Cocoa Charter and Action Plan underline Ferrero’s ambition to be a driving force behind a cocoa sector where cocoa production creates value for people and the environment,” said Marco Gonçalves, Ferrero’s Chief Procurement and Hazelnut Company Officer in a February press release.
The two documents were built upon Ferrero’s achievement of 100 percent sustainably sourced cocoa via third party programs, including Fairtrade International and Rainforest Alliance, among many others, that support local farmers. In addition, Ferrero’s cocoa attained 96 percent traceability to the farm level. Though Ferrero has been partnered with the World Cocoa Foundation and International Cocoa Initiative for nearly two decades, the Cocoa Charter and Action Plan will work hand in hand to:
|Provide targeted assistance to farmers to boost their productivity and diversify their income||Produce farm development plans and income-generating activities, paying a cash premium to farmers on top of the commercial price|
|Eliminate child labor and defend the rights of children in cocoa growing areas||Form partnerships to implement child protection systems and community development plans to address child labor|
|Guide farmers in converting to environmentally responsible agroforestry systems to prevent deforestation||Work with the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) in the cocoa sector and promote sustainable agroforestry|
|Enhance supply-chain traceability and risk assessments||Strengthen supplier partnerships and build a platform that gives visibility over Ferrero’s entire supply chain|
|Disclose their progress||A report is set to be released in the second quarter|
“Through our distinct sourcing approach, we know the farmers and communities we source from, and this enables us to support them in a targeted way. We are now strengthening our activities to bring about lasting change for the sector,” said Gonçalves.
85 percent of global consumers are concerned about learning where their food comes from. The “where” plays into all of Ferrero’s pillars. Today’s consumers demand this sourcing transparency and are therefore more inclined to purchase items where the production was eco-conscious and beneficial to the health and socioeconomic structure of local peoples.
Sustainability and ethics have become a priority to consumers, and by carrying Ferrero products, convenience stores can not only deliver on this trend, but also champion a powerful movement.