Cocoa is a significant raw material for us, and we work hard to ensure that the cocoa used in our products comes from responsible sources. We also co-operate with international actors in the cocoa and chocolate industry to improve the conditions on cocoa farms and in farming communities.

We make chocolate from processed cocoa products purchased from European suppliers: cocoa mass, cocoa powder and cocoa butter. About twenty-five per cent of our cocoa raw materials are of Ecuadorian origin and seventy-five per cent from West Africa. Ecuadorian cocoa is the most important contributor to the taste of our most popular chocolate product, Karl Fazer milk chocolate.

Our goal is responsible and transparent cocoa value chain

According to Fazer’s cocoa vision, by 2017 the origin of the cocoa used by Fazer is traceable and all cocoa meet the criteria of responsibility. The Fazer criteria for responsible cocoa are based on four principles: People, Profit, Planet addressed also by World Cocoa Foundation, and traceability.

Criteria related to People principle include for example responsible labour management and respect for laws and national and international labour standards. Profit principle includes e.g. supporting productivity through improved quality cocoa and increased crop yield. Planet principle means e.g. the safe and effective use of agrochemicals and support and training in environmental conservation. Fazer is committed to increasing the amounts of raw material purchased that meet the criteria for responsible cocoa sourcing by 10 to 15 per cent on an annual basis.

In 2013, 40 per cent of the cocoa purchased by Fazer complied with responsibility programmes. This includes, for example, cocoa with UTZ-certification.  We started purchasing certified cocoa in 2010 when the first parties of UTZ certified cocoa were procured.

Developing traceability through co-operation

Developing traceability in collaboration with all actors in the field is important, since that is how we will be able to control the conditions in which cocoa is cultivated. We want to know where our cocoa comes from, since that is how we can make a difference.

Insufficient traceability is a shared challenge that applies to the whole cocoa and chocolate industry and it concerns the certification systems as well. Traditionally cocoa has had a rather complex supply chain including large amount of intermediaries. This has caused traceability challenges. Working together with actors in the origin countries and supporting farmer co-operations we are striving to get closer to the farmers. Our aim is to better manage the cocoa supply chain and increase transparency.

Currently, Fazer co-operates with suppliers to increase traceability, especially in West Africa. We also actively participated in the development of a joint European standard (CEN) for sustainable and traceable cocoa, and the work is ongoing.

Working with local communities

Since 2005, Fazer has been a member of the global World Cocoa Foundation, established in 2000. The purpose of the foundation is to promote responsible cocoa farming and increase the farmers’ income levels. The foundation supports cocoa farmers and their families through varied programmes in all three major cocoa growing areas: West Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Fazer supports the Ivorian village Biéby through the WCF ECHOES programme (Empowering Cocoa Households with Opportunities and Education Solutions). Read more on our village project here.

An important part of the work is to ensure that the children and teenagers of farmers' families go to school.

At Fazer we do not accept the use of child labour. We recognize the challenges in cocoa farms and want to participate in improving the conditions in farms and communities. Complex problems related to child labour still require active involvement and cooperation between different stakeholders in the field. An important part of our work is to ensure that the children and teenagers of farmers' families go to school. Empowering the youth of these communities through education provides them with the opportunity to learn new skills for future careers. This can lead to higher income levels and better living standards.

We are striving to get closer to the cocoa farmers as to be able to support the communities, more information is needed about the origin of the cocoa. This is why developing traceability is an important objective for our cocoa sourcing.

In recent years, representatives of Fazer have visited the cocoa producing countries Ecuador, Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast in order to acquire more information about the local conditions and challenges in the areas.

Cocoa farms are typically family farms of a few hectares, cultivated by the same family for generations. No individual government, company or organisation alone can solve the issues related to the conditions in West Africa. Instead, the aim is to find solutions through international co-operation.