April 2023

Become An Informed Consumer Use the Chocolate Scorecard BEANS TO BARS Cocoa. If you’re not familiar with Theobroma cacao, the fruity bean that powers the chocolate economy, you might be surprised by its appearance. A knobbly yellow pod packed with a lattice of hard beans coated in a fruity white pulp bears little resemblance to the ubiquitous sweets we encounter in every supermarket. Some facts The chocolate industry is complex, and cocoa farming supports more than 50 million livelihoods. Most of these farmers are smallholders, with Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana producing more than 60% of the world’s cocoa. Unfortunately, many farmers in these communities do not earn enough income to live on. Accusations of child labor and hazardous, exploitative working conditions have been rife. Also, there are often negative environmental impacts. Low productivity on cocoa farms encourages farmers to cut down trees on their plantations to access the nutrient-rich soil underneath. Unfortunately, this kind of slashand-burn agriculture is a big driver of climate change because of land use change. Beyond Beans I work for an organization called Beyond Beans, which aims to improve the environmental and social impact of cocoa. Although legally a non-profit, in practice Beyond Beans is a part of the sustainability department of a large agricultural commodities trader called the Export Trading Group (ETG). ETG buys raw agricultural commodities and finds ways to ship them to major confectionery companies. Beyond Beans carries out sustainability and corporate social responsibility projects for ETG, so our name is often written as ETG | Beyond Beans. It aims to produce positive environmental and social outcomes, secure land rights for smallholder farmers, help them operate agroforestry models, and promote reforestation. Work being done Many international sustainability projects work on the basis of public-private partnerships. This is where governments partner with NGOs and/ or research institutions to outsource sustainability projects. They use organizations like ETG | Beyond Beans which have commercial relationships with smallholder farmers. Some achievements Beyond Beans has supported 100,000 rural farmers with agronomic and climate training, seedlings, and cash premiums. Each year, we plant more than 250,000 indigenous trees through reforestation projects. We also help establish village savings and loans associations that focus on gender empowerment. We have established more than 400 of these associations. ETG | Beyond Beans also operates a Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System in cocoa-producing communities. This is to ensure cocoa production is free of child labor, a practice that has historically been common in the cocoa growing industry. We are proud to have covered 50,000 households with the Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems. Change is happening Companies like Nestlé, Mars, Hershey, and Mondelez, which produce consumer goods like chocolate bars, have their own sustainability targets that require collaboration with their suppliers. Sustainable certifications work to provide minimum sustainability standards, but large brands often have projects that go beyond these minimums. These include Mondelez’s Cocoa Life, Barry Callebaut’s Cocoa Horizons, and the Nestlé Cocoa Plan. Additionally, stricter laws have been enacted around the ethical sourcing of products. The rate at which these laws are enacted is accelerating. For example, the EU approved laws last year to ban commodities linked to deforestation and commodities produced with child labor. Ultimately, a lot more work needs to be done to make cocoa and other commodities truly sustainable. It is essential for companies, governments, and consumers to raise these standards by prioritizing ethical sourcing. Through rigorous action and collaboration between all stakeholders in the cocoa industry, we can ensure a sustainable future for farmers, their communities, and the environment. So, what can you do to help make chocolate more sustainable? The first step is to become an informed consumer. Look for labels that show the chocolate is sustainably produced. They may include Rainforest Alliance Certified, Fairtrade, and UTZ Certified. This indicates that it was produced in an environmentally and socially responsible way. How does your favorite chocolate rank? Use the Chocolate Scorecard to find out which brands of chocolate are free of child labor, working to reduce poverty and deforestation, and are good for people and the planet. The Chocolate Collective is coordinated by Be Slavery Free, with universities, consultants, 58 million lbs: how much chocolate Americans consume during the week of Valentines day. Entire Year: how long it can take a cocoa tree to produce the cocoa in half a lb of chocolate . 70%: of the world’s cocoa grown where climate change may create poor cocoa growing conditions . Love chocolate? If so, you’re not alone! The Aztecs believed that chocolate was a gift from their gods. Today, chocolate is one of the world’s most popular treats. But what about the impact it has on the environment? We asked Adam from Beyond Beans about the sustainability of growing cocoa to make chocolate. 58 1 70 million year percent The most ethical cocoa you can buy will be small-batch specialty chocolate, ideally from one farm. The label will usually list only a handful of ingredients: cocoa beans, sugar, and cocoa butter, and a single, named farm. This means that manufacturers have a more direct relationship with the farmers, and that those farmers are, paid a better price for their product. and civil society groups engaging in transforming the chocolate industry. This research is done by a group of universities in accordance with Human Research Ethics Committee guidelines under the project titled The Chocolate Scorecard. www.chocolatescorecard.com/