Where does Fazer's cocoa come from?
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. Fazer manufactures chocolate from processed cocoa products – cocoa mass, cocoa butter and cocoa powder. At the moment ca. 40 % of the chocolate products we use are processed in its country of origin.
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.
Is Fazer's chocolate certified?
Fazer's product packages do not feature certification markings. In addition to farmer programmes we use also 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 Ivory Coast. During 2020 we also made our first cocoa purchases through Cocoa Horizons programme.
Should Fazer buy only certified cocoa?
Certification is not the only way to ensure sustainability, but it is a good start. According to World Cocoa Foundation’s estimates, around 80 per cent of the world’s cocoa farmers are not covered by any certification system. To ensure the future of cocoa farming and chocolate production, farming outside the certification systems must be developed through grower programmes. For this reason, Fazer also purchases sustainable cocoa through farmer programmes. Most of the big chocolate companies have started to work through farmer programmes or like us, are combining certified cocoa and cocoa purchased through farmer programmes.
What are the farmer programmes?
Fazer purchases cocoa through farmer programmes in Ecuador, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. During 2020 we also made our first cocoa purchases through Cocoa Horizons programme. Through these programmes, Fazer buys cocoa that fulfils the criteria for responsible production. The cocoa bought through the programmes is traceable to the 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 Ivory Coast and ca. 300 farmers in Ecuador.
The farms are small, 3-5 hectar family farms. In one family there is typically 6-8 members. Children often take part in farm work, just as they do on European farms. Work that interferes with schooling or threatens the well-being of the child is prohibited and monitored (heavy loads, dangerous tools, pesticides, long working days)
What kind of programme you have in Ecuador?
The cocoa shipments from the new farmer program in Ecuador will begin in 2021 and the cocoa will be traceable to the farm level.
The 333 farmers in the program from Los Rios and Esmeraldas regions will receive a premium for their sustainably farmed cocoa. Many trainings and other support is offered to the farmers to ensure sustainable farming.
To us the sustainable farming means prosperous farmers, wellbeing cocoa communities and respecting our planet. Our program is also an important enabler securing the future of Arriba quality (Cacao Nacional) that is very vital to our iconic Karl Fazer chocolate.
What are the activities executed in farmer programmes?
- Farmer trainings
- Improving work safety
- Empowering women
- Supporting school opportunities for children
- Deforestration activities like planting new trees
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.
How the premiums are used in the communities?
The cocoa communities in Fazer’s farmer programmes use the premiums to develop social initiatives that helps to prevent the child labour. E.g. building schools, buying school class room furniture and school supplies.
Why there is still child labour in cocoa farming?
The main reason behind child labour is poverty. Chocolate companies can influence the situation with e.g. farmer trainings, improving the farmer income level, supporting school opportunities for children and implementing monitoring and reporting systems. Actions done in Fazer’s farmer programmes answer to these needs.
What concrete actions Fazer has done to end child labour?
- We pay premiums to the farmers in farmer programme
- Farmer trainings
- Child labour monitoring and reporting
- Supporting school opportunities for children
In Ivory Coast, the use of child labor is prevented by the Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS). In addition to immediate intervention, the focus will be on tackling the root causes at community level, in particular on improving women's income levels, for example through village loans and side income projects.
In 2019, it was reported to Fazer that in Ivory Coast 43 children were found in cocoa farming programme families who did not have a birth certificate because the families could not afford it. Without a birth certificate, children cannot go to school. Under the farmer program, birth certificates were arranged.
The farming programme in Nigeria is actively seeking to find and eliminate child labour. Farmers have trainings on child labour and children’s rights. Instead of random audits, a designated farmer has been selected and trained to monitor child labour within each cocoa farming community. Designated farmers live and work in local communities and are thus constantly present.
What are Fazer's criteria for the responsible production of cocoa?
Fazer's criteria for responsible cocoa production are based on the following principles: 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.
Farmer 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.
How is the sustainability of cocoa verified? How do you make sure that the criteria are fulfilled?
Certification and audits provide third-party verification for the responsibility criteria. Our partners who carry out the farmer 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. Fazer's model for responsible cocoa sourcing in its entirety has been also audited by Ecocert. Due to the pandemic, the audits planned for 2020 have been postponed to 2021.
Have you published the audit reports?
We have published the key findings and development areas from previous audits. In the future (2021 onwards) we will publish the reports.
Why is supporting productivity so important?
Supporting productivity is decisively important to the farmers – and to the future of cocoa. In many farming communities, cocoa 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. Cocoa 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.
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.