The Cocoa and Forests Initiative: Our Progress
Whittaker’s, a family-owned chocolate manufacturer in New Zealand, is proud to report on our progress in delivering on our commitments under our Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) action plan to the end of calendar year 2019. The specific commitments we made in respect of Ghana, where we source all of our cocoa beans apart from some specialist single origin beans, are:
- 100% of the cocoa beans that we use for making our chocolate to be certified as ethically sourced by 2021.
- 100% cocoa beans to be traceable from farm level to our manufacturing plant by 2025, enabled by fully mapping our supplier chain within that same timeframe.
- Only selecting suppliers and partners whose practices are in line with CFI commitments.
Annual Report for 2019: Ghana
As at December 2019, we increased the percentage of certified ethically sourced Ghanaian cocoa beans from 30% to 46% over the course of the calendar year. We also established a new relationship with Rainforest Alliance, which will enable us to meet our objective of using 100% certified ethically sourced Ghanaian cocoa beans by the end of March 2020, a year earlier than we had committed to under the CFI.
Alongside developing that new relationship with Rainforest Alliance, we have established a new supply chain involving two specific Rainforest Alliance-certified cooperatives in Ghana, in Assin Fosu and Asankrangwa.
We have signed Memoranda of Understanding with both cooperatives, which outline our shared commitments in respect of ethical and sustainable cocoa including agreed targets for geo mapping of farms supplying the cooperatives. We have also put supply agreements and logistics in place to receive our first consignment of traceable Ghanaian cocoa from cooperative level to our factory in New Zealand for the 19/20 crop.
For us, a direct personal connection with our suppliers on-the-ground in Ghana is an important part of our commitment to ethical, traceable and sustainable cocoa. In this context, we visited both cooperatives in 2019, and have scheduled two visits in calendar year 2020. These visits enable us to identify other ways we can support our cocoa farmers and their communities, beyond the premiums we pay for certified ethical cocoa.
The CFI-driven progress we are making builds on our earlier commitments to sustainable sourcing, and we welcome the accountability that the CFI demands of us and the industry as a whole. As a relatively small company among the other signatories to the CFI, we rely on our supply and certification partners, and CFI-driven government action, to continue to make progress on CFI commitments in Ghana.
Future commitments: 2020 and beyond
|Whittaker's commitments||2019||2020 and beyond|
|1. 100% cocoa beans to be certified as ethically sourced by 2021.||
In January 2019, our percentage of ethically sourced certified Ghanaian cocoa beans was 30%.
In December 2019, our percentage of ethically sourced certified Ghanaian cocoa beans was 46%.
|Expected to achieve 100% ethically sourced certified Ghanaian cocoa beans by March 2020.|
2. Implement traceability system to farm level in 100% of supply chain.
0.5% of our total volume of beans traceable in 2019 (Traceability of the beans sourced from Samoa)
Establishment of a new supply chain involving 2 certified cooperatives in Ghana.
Agreements & logistics in place to receive our first consignment of traceable Ghanaian cocoa from cooperative level to our manufacturing plant in New Zealand for the 19/20 crop.
Expected to receive our first consignment of traceable Ghanaian cocoa from cooperative level to our manufacturing plant in 2020.
|3. Only selecting suppliers and partners whose practices are in line with our commitments.||
Since 2019, we have dealt with 3 bean suppliers to complement the volumes purchased directly from the CMC. 2 of them are CFI signatories; the last one has a sustainability programme in place, in line with the CFI core commitments.
|Whittaker’s will keep selecting and dealing with suppliers whose practices are in line with our commitments.|