Sustainable cocoa from Boni Selection & Everyday
Chocolate bars, Easter eggs, ice cream, sprinkles, biscuits and cakes. This is just a quick glimpse of the wide range of our Boni Selection and Everyday own brand products. What do all these delicacies have in common? Cocoa, sustainably produced in the South.
We opt for 100 % certification
At Colruyt Group, we go for 100% certified cocoa in all our own brand chocolates and chocolate products. A certificate means that the farmers in question make tangible efforts to grow their cocoa responsibly, with respect for people and the environment. There are different European and international sustainability labels, each with its own emphasis. We have chosen two of them: UTZ and Fairtrade.
UTZ and Rainforest Alliance: better working methods, better cocoa
In January 2018, UTZ and Rainforest Alliance merged into one organisation. Recently, they launched their new logo. Therefore, the coming months will see the current UTZ logo on our products being replaced by the new logo. UTZ/Rainforest Alliance is working on a new standard specifically for cocoa which will become mandatory from mid-2021. The new standard aims to provide an even better response to the challenges in the cocoa sector. For example, the approved/rejected approach will shift towards giving support to farmers or partners in the chain who have not (yet) achieved the standard and cocoa farmers will receive an additional bonus to ensure that their income is closer to the 'living income'.
The programme helps small-scale cocoa farmers to improve their cultivation methods, so that the quality of their coffee beans and productivity improve significantly. To illustrate: the average yield of a family farm in West Africa is 400 kg cocoa/hectare. By following good agricultural practices such as extra (organic) fertilisation and timely pruning, farmers can double their yield, which of course also means doubling their income from cocoa. By introducing this new standard, UTZ/Rainforest Alliance aims to reinvent certification. Click here to read about the direction they intend to take.
Protecting the land, water and natural habitats
The programmes supported by sustainability labels such as UTZ /Rainforest Alliance not only provide social and economic added value, they also contribute to sustainable forest management and the rebuilding of biodiversity. How do they do this? They do this by teaching farmers good agricultural practices such as using less pesticides or using alternative forms of fertilisers. Another strategy is checking that forest areas are not cut down to make way for agricultural plots.
Fairtrade: a fair price for cocoa
For our Boni Selection BIO products, we opt for the Fairtrade International certificate wherever possible. This fair trade label guarantees farmers fair sales terms and a fixed minimum price for their products. This puts them in a stronger position in the trade chain. And they can therefore take control of their own future.
More recently, the concept of a 'liveable income' has started to emerge, based on the observation that most cocoa farmers earn far less than what would be considered a liveable income. Fairtrade has developed a living income strategy and introduced the concept of a living income reference price. Colruyt Group also works with Fairtrade and other partners to guarantee a living income for the farmers in Ivory Coast who supply the cocoa beans for the Boni 70 % chocolate bar.
With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.