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 come 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 and 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 the cocoa 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.
Fazer's farmer programmes are monitored with the help of third-party audits. In 2016, the audit of the farmer programme in Nigeria was performed by the certification and private inspection company Ecocert.
Based on the results of the audit, issues emphasised in the training provided to farmers – such as farming practices, the protection of the environment and social conventions – were visible in farmers' ways of working. We also achieved good results in the prevention of child labour. In Nigeria, one person from within each farming community has been selected and trained, in cooperation with Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Justice, to monitor child labour. There are approximately 50 people responsible for such monitoring
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.
Our products do not have a certification marking because we've wanted to avoid choosing one system over all the others. It has been estimated that up to 80 per cent of the world's cocoa farmers do not belong in the scope of any certification system. We want to develop responsible cocoa farming with these farmers as well, and this is why Fazer's programme for responsible cocoa sourcing, Fazer for Better Cocoa, comprises both certified cocoa and cocoa bought through farming communities. We provide direct support to more than 6,000 farmers in Nigeria and Ecuador.
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. 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.
Fazer's farmer programmes are monitored with the help of third-party audits. In 2016, the audit of the farmer programme in Nigeria was performed by the certification and private inspection company Ecocert. Ecocert has also audited Fazer's model for responsible cocoa sourcing in its entirety.
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 those farmers who grow our cocoa – through education, for instance. We provide direct support to more than 6,000 farmers in Nigeria and Ecuador
Why is supporting productivity so important?
Supporting 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 a response to the growing worldwide demand for cocoa.
Does Fazer pay premiums for sustainable cocoa?
Yes, we pay a premium 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.
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 affect cocoa production and, thereby, cocoa supply. This is one of the reasons why Fazer is working towards a more sustainable cocoa sector.