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Barry Callebaut’s Forever Chocolate programme plans to make sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025 to help ensure future supplies of cocoa and improve farmer livelihoods.

ValueChange working group member Barry Callebaut launched their ‘Forever Chocolate’ programme to make sustainable chocolate the norm. It includes a commitment to have more than 500,000 cocoa farmers in their supply chain lifted out of poverty, eradicating child labor from their supply chain, becoming carbon and forest positive and having 100% sustainable ingredients in all of their products—all by 2025.

This not only generates value for society in terms of a stable climate, poverty reduction and fair labour practices, it also future-proofs their business by helping ensure chocolate can still be grown decades from now.

THE CHALLENGE

Taking accountability and reducing scope 3 emissions is a big step and a key challenge is that all companies in the supply chain need to work together and agree on a set of common actions and reporting standards. The new Value Chain Interventions Guidance developed by Gold Standard and strategic partners enables reporting on intervention emissions reductions toward corporate climate performance targets, in line with common accounting frameworks like the GHG Protocol.

As part of a multi-faceted approach to meet their sustainability goals, Barry Callebaut designed a programme of supply chain interventions according to this ValueChange guidance to be implemented in countries that represent their most significant suppliers, such as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Brazil and Indonesia.

THE SUPPLY CHAIN INTERVENTIONS

To support more sustainable cocoa production Barry Callebaut introduced:

Nature-based carbon removal activities

  • Planting new cocoa trees and replacing old or non-productive trees on farms
  • Planting non-cocoa trees on farms to increase carbon sequestration and support farmer income diversity
  • Planting non-cocoa trees in farming communities off-farm to increase climate resilience and carbon sequestration

Emission reduction projects

On top of carbon removal activities, they also disseminate and maintain cook stoves and solar home systems to supplier families, which provide multiple benefits to local communities in terms of health, gender equality and poverty reduction.

THE VERIFIED RESULTS

  • Over 90,000 tonnes of CO2e reduced or sequestered
  • 184,623 cocoa farmers lifted out of extreme poverty
  • Regeneration of 3,800 hectares of forest

The CO2e intensity per tonne of product decreased by 12.8% compared to the previous fiscal year, of which value chain activities represent a significant portion. All these outcomes have been verified by SustainCERT, the official certification provider for Gold Standard.

LESSONS LEARNED

As the first company to complete first-year certification, Barry Callebaut has played a pioneering role implementing the value change guidance on the ground, feeding into three key lessons learnt from this programme.

LESSON 1 - Don’t be afraid to start

You have to be comfortable with uncertainty to get started, but the only way to fill those gaps in data or understand the reductions inside versus beyond boundaries is to get stuck in.

LESSON 2 - Collaborate with competitors

Companies agreed that it was better to sit down with their fiercest competitors to hash out solutions rather than go it alone. And figuring it all out with civil society participation means avoiding the risks of overclaiming.

LESSON 3 - Share the benefits

Scope 3 emissions are by definition shared through the value chain – suppliers, customers, partners, end consumers. By cutting emissions upstream, all downstream participants can benefit from a lower carbon footprint and a virtuous circle begins.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Barry Callebaut will expand the ValueChange pilot programme to include improved agricultural practices as well as disseminate improved cook stoves and other appliances. Together, these activities not only provide a measurable climate benefit, but they also increase farm productivity, improve livelihoods and enhance health and the general well-being of farmers who are already experiencing the effects of climate change.

Photos: all credits Barry Callebaut

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Credits:

Barry and Callebaut