Barry Callebaut says 43 percent of the products it sold in 2020-2021 contained 100 percent sustainable cocoa or chocolate.

That’s according to the Swiss company’s fifth edition of the Forever Chocolate report, which highlights progress on sustainability and in three other key areas.

“This year, we celebrate the fifth anniversary of Forever Chocolate, and I am extremely proud of the progress that we have made since 2016, creating tangible impact on the ground,” said Barry Callebaut Group CEO Peter Boone. “Our outstanding achievements are only made possible with the expertise and dedication of our employees, partners and customers. I would like to warmly thank them for their commitment and invite other stakeholders to join us in this journey to make sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025.”

Forever Chocolate is based on four targets:

  • Prospering farmers
  • Zero child labor
  • Thriving nature
  • Sustainable chocolate

“In 2020/21, we have continued to scale digital innovations, created a novel approach to measure carbon emissions, increased our individualized tailored support to cocoa farmers and developed a new approach to tackling child labor,” said Pablo Perversi, chief innovation, sustainability and quality officer, global head of gourmet. “Our application of leading innovative solutions is clearly paying off.”

Over 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty by 2025

In order to lift more than 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty in the supply chain, Barry Callebaut says it is critical to have an in-depth understanding of the conditions, challenges and potential of its partner farms and farmers. It expanded its farm mapping database to cover 234,997 farmers with full data in 2020/21. Over the past five years, Barry Callebaut has earned that farm-specific support is more effective than a one-size-fits-all approach. In 2020/21 a total of 125,593 cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Brazil, Ecuador and Indonesia received Farm Services support.

For the measurement of progress against Barry Callebaut’s target to lift over 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty by 2025, it is using as a starting point the International Poverty Line definition of extreme poverty of $1.90/day. The company’s activities are directed to place farmers on a trajectory toward a living income and beyond, through increased productivity and income diversification. In 2020/21 Barry Callebaut estimates 214,584 cocoa farmers (+50 percent) in its supply chain are out of poverty.

Eradicate child labor from our supply chain by 2025

Among the most prevalent types of child labor, occurring primarily on family farms, is that of children working at too young an age or working in hazardous conditions. In line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the solution lies not in ending the sourcing from these regions, but in assessing, monitoring and remediating on the ground the risk of children becoming involved in child labor. Barry Callebaut continues to monitor and identify cases of child labor. This year, its monitoring and remediation systems grew +116 percent to cover 237 farmer groups, including 220,878 farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Cameroon. In addition, 25,486 (+412 percent) of the reported child labor cases found in previous years are now under remediation. The percentage of the farmer groups Barry Callebaut directly sources from with whom it undertakes child labor monitoring and remediation activities is 61 percent.

Barry Callebaut takes a child-centered approach that starts at the local level, engaging with children, parents, families and community members to create empowered communities to help their own development and make lasting change for the future. This approach relies on a framework of collaborative action from all stakeholders. In 2020, Barry Callebaut’s partnership with Embode, a social protection and human rights consultancy, led to the finalization of the company’s new approach to tackling child labor. This new approach sets clear internal milestones between 2020 and 2025 to guide planning, implementation, and stakeholder engagement.

Carbon and Forest positive by 2025

Since the commencement of Forever Chocolate in 2016, Barry Callebaut has reduced its overall corporate carbon intensity per tonne of product by more than -17 percent. In addition, it also made progress in 2020/21 to reduce the carbon emissions caused by Land Use Change (LUC). Through the scaling of its traceability and sourcing efforts, Barry Callebaut reduced the LUC impact from cocoa cultivation by over -10 percent.

A key component of evaluating progress toward becoming forest positive is biodiversity, which includes both on-farm and off-farm efforts, such as soil regeneration and the creation of carbon sinks. By improving on-farm ecosystems, cocoa farmers can reduce the use of pesticides and fungicides. In addition, cocoa grown in the shade is linked to increased biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and nutrient retention in the soil. 

This year, Barry Callebaut increased its planting capacity and is now planting over 35 trees per hectare, such as teak, mahogany and sejula, in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. This ramp-up also aligns with the requirements of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI), of which Barry Callebaut was a founding signatory in 2017. Due to its tree planting activities, Barry Callebaut accounts for a total of 240,000 tCO2e reduction this year alone, according to the Gold Standard Value Chain Intervention methodology.

Furthermore, Barry Callebaut is participating in business coalitions, such as World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B), to drive cross-commodity systemic change and restore natural biodiversity within value chains.

100 percent sustainable ingredients by 2025

Barry Callebaut works with and implements several sustainable cocoa programs to improve farmer livelihoods and farming practices. Among them is Cocoa Horizons, its preferred vehicle to drive impact and deliver on its Forever Chocolate ambition. 

In 2020/21, Barry Callebaut has seen significant growth in Cocoa Horizons premiums, driven by strong demand from customers. The premiums from the purchase of HORIZONS cocoa products generated over CHF 28.4 million in funds, an increase of +61 percent compared to prior year. This uptake in demand is also reflected in the increase to 43 percent (+15 percent) of the percentage of cocoa and chocolate products sold that contain 100 percent sustainable cocoa or chocolate. In addition, in fiscal year 2020/21 Barry Callebaut sourced 66 percent of all its non-cocoa ingredients from sustainable sources, an increase of +8 percent compared to the previous year.