Organic, fair, vegan - one hears these key words more and more frequently. According to an infas survey, 50 percent of the – primarily female – people occasionally buy organic products, 25 percent actually buy them often. Even more of the respondents are planning to opt for 'organic' in future. The consumer of today is better informed and thus at the same time also more demanding with regards to the production conditions.
And so, of course, chocolate naturally still makes people happy. However, for an increasing number of "sweets fans" it is furthermore important that the producers of the ingredients, such as cocoa, are happy too. Among others because of this sustainability remains to be one of the most important food trends, which is also taking on greater significance at ISM.
Sustainable cocoa farming in the sweets industry
The sweets industry hasn't just been occupying itself in this area since it has become a hip theme, but has indeed been asserting itself intensively for sustainable cocoa farming for many years. "Whereas sustainably produced cocoa only amounted to approx. 3 percent of the sweets sold in Germany in 2011, in 2018 the share was already 2018," said Solveig Schneider from the German Sweets Industry e.V. (BDSI) making reference to the significant progress. Just recently, the BDSI recommended that its members increase the share of sustainably produced cocoa in the sweets sold in Germany up to 75 percent by the year 2025. Projects like ProPlanteurs that was co-initiated by the BDSI and which reaches 1.45 million farmers in total, are working in a targeted manner to improve the living conditions of the cocoa farmers and their families. The theme climate change won't be neglected either: Just recently, the Sustainable Cocoa forum presented courses of action for growing cocoa that doesn't lead to the loss of forests.
Sweet manufacturers are demanding sustainable cocoa production
Taking a look at the companies also shows: The sweets industry has long since been focusing on sustainability. This hasn't just applied for start-ups for some time already, but also for companies with tradition. Just two of many examples: In 2014, Confiserie Riegelein was the first supplier in the sweets industry to bring seasonal chocolate items onto the market that carried the Fairtrade cocoa programme seal. Target: To offer the customers "an ecological, economic and socially-responsibly grown and manufactured product." In the scope of the Cacao-Nica programme, as the first big manufacturer of bars of chocolate, the company Alfred Ritter has been promoting sustainable cocoa farming in Nicaragua for almost 30 years, actually has its own plantation and has been sourcing certified, sustainable cocoa for its entire collection since the beginning of 2018. "We strive to manufacture really good chocolate. This particularly applies for the ecological and social conditions across the entire value chain and thus above all in the cocoa growing sector," is how Andreas Ronken, Chairman of the Executive Board, explained the decision at the time.
Hence, the sweets industry does an awful lot to make sure that chocolate makes everyone happy. The communications with the consumer sometimes prove to be the stumbling block. Because in the case of sustainability the following applies: Do something good and talk about it!
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