Where does Fazer's cocoa come from?
Fazer manufactures chocolate from processed cocoa products – cocoa mass, cocoa butter and cocoa powder. Fazer purchases the raw materials from European suppliers. A quarter of the cocoa we buy comes from Ecuador, while three quarters of it is from West Africa. The cocoa is processed either in Europe or in its country of origin. Ecuadorian cocoa mass, for example, is the most important factor contributing to the taste of Karl Fazer Milk Chocolate.
Why does so much of the cocoa come from West Africa?
West Africa is the largest cocoa producing area in the world. About 70 per cent of the entire world's cocoa comes from West Africa.
What are Fazer's criteria for the responsible production of cocoa?
Fazer's criteria for responsible cocoa production are based on the principles of the World Cocoa Foundation: people, profit and the planet. Fazer's criteria also include traceability.
Fazer has drawn up a list of criteria under each of these principles.
- The criteria for the well-being of people include honouring the International Labour Standards, for example.
- The profit aspect covers, among other things, support for productivity through improving the quality of cocoa and increasing the yield of crops.
- Taking care of the planet refers to criteria involving the use of fertilizers, taking the environmental impacts of farming into account, and education related to these issues.
Direct programmes, on the other hand, allow for tracing cocoa all the way to individual farms. With respect to certified cocoa, the minimum requirement is mass-balance. We require both cocoa producers and certification organisations to provide us with information about the communities where the cocoa comes from.
Why is traceability so important to Fazer?
Improving traceability in cooperation with all industry operators is important, because it gives us a chance to get closer to farmers, influence the conditions in which cocoa is farmed, and improve transparency/openness in the entire chain.
Can you guarantee that the production of the cocoa bought by Fazer does not involve the use of child labour?
Fazer does not approve of the use of child labour, and we work with cocoa's value chain on a daily basis. The complex problems related to child labour still require an active approach and cooperation with the stakeholders that make up the value chain. We are aware of the challenges and of the fact that no organisation alone is able to solve the problems related to child labour and its root causes.
We want to improve conditions in primary production by pursuing our cocoa vision, by participating in cooperation and in sharing expertise, and by supporting farmers through our responsibility programme. Our goal is to get closer to the farmers, and we want to know the precise origin of our cocoa.
The only way we can develop the conditions of cocoa farming is through industry cooperation and transparent dialogue with all of our stakeholders.
Don't you think it's unfair to sell a product whose raw materials are produced in poverty?
There are approximately five million cocoa farmers in the world. Cocoa farms are typically family farms that are a few hectares in size and have been tended to and cultivated by the same family for several generations. Up to 70% of these farms are located in West Africa, where cocoa farmers face a myriad of challenges. No single government, company or organisation can solve the problems related to the conditions of cocoa farming. Instead, the goal is to find solutions through international cooperation.
Is Fazer's chocolate certified?
Fazer's product packages do not feature certification markings. We use certified cocoa ingredients (UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade Cocoa Program) in our products.
We want to do more. Fazer's cocoa programme consists of sourcing certified cocoa and supporting farmers through direct, ongoing responsibility programmes in Ecuador and West Africa. In addition to certified cocoa production, we want to support the majority of cocoa farmers, who do not belong within the scope of certification systems.
Our goal is that by 2017, we will be able to trace the origin of all our cocoa, and all of the cocoa we use will meet the criteria for responsible production.
In 2015, the cocoa we purchased through direct programmes and the certified cocoa we purchased amounted to 72% of all the cocoa we purchased.
How is the sustainability of cocoa verified? How do you make sure that the criteria are fulfilled?
Certification provides third-party verification for the responsibility criteria. At the moment, 49 per cent (2015) 52 per cent of the cocoa purchased by Fazer is certified (UTZ, the Rainforest Alliance, the Fairtrade Cocoa Program). Fazer also purchases cocoa through selected direct programmes (23 per cent in 2015). Our partners who carry out the programmes in the countries of origin train the farmers and monitor the fulfilment of our responsibility criteria. They monitor the farmers and report to Fazer according to an agreed process. In addition, Fazer relies on audits that it conducts itself and audits conducted by third parties.
What is a direct responsibility programme?
Fazer purchases cocoa through direct responsibility programmes in Ecuador and Nigeria. Through these programmes, Fazer buys cocoa that fulfils the criteria for responsible production. The cocoa bought through the programmes is traceable to individual farms, and this allows us to support precisely the farmers – through education, for instance – who grow our cocoa.
Why is support for productivity so important?
Support for productivity is decisively important to the farmers – and to the future of cocoa. In many farming communities, cacao trees yield crops that fall far below their maximum potential due to outdated farming practices. Cocoa is afflicted by a number of pests and diseases. Cacao trees also age very rapidly. Better productivity provides farmers with more money for living and a chance to invest in their farms and develop their communities. Efforts to increase productivity also help in providing answers to the growing worldwide demand for cocoa.
Does Fazer pay premiums for sustainable cocoa?
Yes, we pay premiums for both certified cocoa and the cocoa we purchase through the direct programmes. The size of the premiums is at the same level in respect of both certified cocoa and the cocoa purchased through direct programmes. The premiums are used for projects in the farming communities.
Why haven't you achieved your goal yet? Why is it taking so long to achieve the goal?
We have set clear goals for ourselves. Achieving them demands considerable development in sourcing and the supply chain. We are committed to this work, and we are ready to invest resources in it to effect genuine changes together with our partners. This takes time, and we still have a lot of work to do, even after we've reached our current goal.
There have been concerns about the adequacy of the cocoa supply in the future. Do you perceive this as a threat to Fazer?
In the long term, it is a risk to all companies that use cocoa. Factors such as climate change, the ageing farmer population and urbanisation all have effects on cocoa production and thereby on supply. This is one of the reasons why Fazer is working towards a more sustainable cocoa sector.