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Nestlé’s range of chocolate now made with sustainable cocoa

February 19, 2013

Nestlé’s range of chocolate now made with sustainable cocoa

Nestlé New Zealand and Nestlé Australia announced today that all chocolate it produces in both countries is now independently certified to ensure it’s made with cocoa produced sustainably on farms with safe working conditions.

More than 3,000 tons of UTZ Certified Cocoa is now being used to produce iconic favourites such as Kit Kat, Smarties and Milky Bar.

Nestlé’s New Zealand Manager of Corporate Services, Maurice Gunnell said the Nestlé Cocoa Plan aims to improve the lives of cocoa farmers, their families and communities.

“The cocoa industry faces challenges like poor soil fertility management, aging trees, low farmer income and poor labour practices,” Mr Gunnell said.

“The 10 year $NZ140 million Nestlé Cocoa Plan is helping to address these issues through our work with West African cocoa farmers. It is also giving consumers the confidence that the cocoa has been produced sustainably and on farms with safe working conditions including eliminating child labour.”

The Nestlé Research and Development Centre in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire a country which supplies Nestlé with the bulk of its cocoa, has been central to the Cocoa Plan, breeding high yield disease resistant plants and working alongside farmers to improve their practices.

R&D Head Dr Serigne Diop, visiting Australia this week, said that almost all cocoa farmers have small landholdings with ageing trees, and as a result, have seen productivity of their farms diminish.

“We believe you cannot have a socially sustainable business if your farmers, your suppliers, are not being paid a fair price and cannot see a future for themselves as farmers,” Dr Diop said.

The Nestlé Cocoa Plan is:
• Supplying farmers with 12 million higher yielding, disease-resistant cocoa trees to replace ageing unproductive trees.
• Training farmers on efficient farming methods and responsible work practices through farmer field schools and field demonstrations. Around 27,000 farmers were trained last year.
• Paying farmers a premium for sustainably produced cocoa.
• Working with NGOs and the governments of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana to stamp out forced labour practices in the cocoa industry.
• Working with the World Cocoa Foundation to build or refurbish 40 schools to improve educational opportunities.

Consumers will be able to choose the sustainable Nestlé chocolate blocks and bars by looking for the UTZ Certified symbol on-pack as it is progressively added to packs.

Nestlé Cocoa Plan
Nestlé’s 10 year Cocoa Plan was launched in 2009 backed by an investment of CHF110 ($NZ140 million). The Plan addresses the key issues facing the cocoa industry and Nestlé is working with farmers and partner organisations to build programs that offer long term solutions from an economic, social and environmental perspective.

UTZ Certified
UTZ Certified is a labelling scheme to promote sustainable farming of coffee, cocoa and tea. The mission of UTZ Certified is to create a world where sustainable farming is the norm; where famers implement good agricultural practices and manage their farms profitably with respect for people and planet, industry invests in and rewards sustainable production and consumers can enjoy and trust the products they buy.

Fair Labor Association
The Fair Labor Association combines the efforts of NGOs, universities and businesses to ensure products are produced fairly and ethically. In 2012 FLA commissioned a team of 20 local and international experts to conduct an assessment of Nestlé’s cocoa supply chain in the Ivory Coast and published a detailed report with recommendations.é-cocoa-supply-chain-ivory-coast

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