Greener Kit Kats on the way as Nestlé achieves 100% sustainable cocoa

Nestlé Professional UK & Ireland has become the first major confectionary company in the hospitality and foodservice sector to source 100 certified sustainable cocoa for its chocolate and biscuits.

From 1 January, 2016, all of Nestlé’s UK confectionary brands – including Aero, Rolo and After Eight – will be produced using certified sustainable cocoa sourced through the company’s Cocoa Plan.

“We’re very proud to have reached this landmark milestone as part of our long-term commitment to making a real difference to cocoa farmers and their communities,” said Nestlé Professional UK & Ireland managing director George Vezza.

“The Nestlé Cocoa Plan is helping farmers to run profitable farms, support the elimination of child labour and ensure a sustainable supply of cocoa.  Now the Hospitality and Foodservice Industries can serve products with the confidence that they are made with cocoa that comes from 100% certified sustainable sources.”

Launched in 2009, the Nestlé Cocoa Plan aims to improve the profitability and sustainability of farms; advance the social conditions for local people, and in turn develop a sustainable supply of high-quality cocoa for Nestlé.  It focuses in the three areas of ‘Better Farming’, ‘Better Plants’ and ‘Better Schools’.

As part of the Plan, Nestlé works with both UTZ Certified and the Fairtrade Foundation for independent certification that the cocoa is sourced and produced sustainably on farms with safe working conditions.

The Fairtrade Foundation’s chief executive Michael Gidney said: “With the launch of the new Sustainable Development Goals – and their ambition to end poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030 – businesses such as Nestlé working with Fairtrade to build more sustainable supply chains will be critical. 

“The secured price and social premium enabled through Fairtrade delivers real investment in community and farmer-led development in a future sustainable cocoa industry.”

Supply chain management

This is the latest in a line of sustainable cocoa announcements from the snacking industry this year.

In October, Mars UK became the first UK company to commit to Fairtrade’s new Cocoa Sourcing Program, which aims to help more cocoa farmers sell on Fairtrade terms and connect them with businesses that actively try and improve their livelihoods.

And back in February, Mondelez International – the world’s largest chocolate company – told edie it was taking a hands-on approach to supply chain management and transparency, by employing its own bespoke verification system in a bid to improve the social, trade and environmental standards of the cocoa industry.

On-site solutions

Meanwhile, Nestlé has moved from strength to strength with the sustainability of its own operations in the UK, thanks in part to the group’s focus on on-site solutions.  At the end of October, the firm switched on a 500kW solar system on the roof and to the rear of its largest UK factory in Fawdon, which will see the amount of CO2 it produces cut by 225,000kg.

The Fawdon factory also achieved zero-waste-to-landfill and cut emissions by 10% earlier this year, thanks to the installation of a giant anaerobic digester in 2014.

Luke Nicholls

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