Cocoa Sustainability Background

Cocoa bean is the most important and irreplaceable chocolate ingredient for chocolate manufacturers. With the continuous growth of population and demand of chocolate, the industry became extremely concern with the future of cocoa bean supply, due to limited land and other resources.
Cocoa Sustainability Background   In order to prevent shortage of cocoa beans from happening, the main players in the chocolate industry initiated Cocoa Sustainability Projects in different aspects such as cocoa productivity, farmers' living income, child labor and deforestation.

On the other hand, in an effort to support the sustainability initiatives, various certification bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as World Cocoa Foundation, Cocoa Sustainability Partnership, FairTrade, UTZ and Rainforest Alliance have step up in order to contribute, steer and provide assurance for the initiatives.
The typical scope includes the following: no forced and child labor, no deforestation and reforestation, use eco-friendly fertilizer, provide education on good agricultural practices, subsidize farming materials, as well as improve communities and infrastructure in the farming villages. Farmers that contribute to these would receive additional premium, normally defined by individual companies, as an encouragement to continue contributing.

GCB Cocoa Sustainability Strategic Direction

Our Role in The Past

Our Role in The Past

Previously we have not been carrying out programs in the origin countries because we had no presence in the origin countries. However, we have continuously contributed to sustainability by subsidizing suppliers who supply cocoa beans that are certified by certification bodies, such as UTZ and Rainforest Alliance and are sourced from farms that carry out sustainability programs. In addition to that, its facilities are also certified by the above-mentioned certification bodies, in which it enables us to process certified cocoa beans and to pass down the resulted cocoa products to our customers. In addition to that, we try to govern a set of requirements by having a code of conduct that spells out the rules that align with our CSR standards and making sure that ourselves and our suppliers comply to them. As we move into origin country – Côte d’Ivoire, we commit to contribute more to sustainability in the upstream.
Our Role Now

Our Role Now

We will continue to obtain the certification for its existing facilities, as well as the new installation in Côte d’Ivoire, and govern its own code of conduct, making sure that suppliers continue to comply to these code of conduct. In order to do that, the company’s cocoa bean quality assurance team will conduct verification audit for at least 3 suppliers per year in each region – namely Asia, America and Africa.
In 2019, we made a major move in deciding to get more involved in the sustainability initiatives. We have committed to have a greener supply chain and to implement our own program in origin countries. Currently we have established partnerships with suppliers, MNC customers and NGO, in which we invest funds, alongside with MNC customers, for the NGO – namely Farmstrong Foundation, a well-established Swiss Not-For-Profit Organization that has resources in Cote d’Ivoire – to carry out sustainability project, source beans from the participating farms for the suppliers to ship out to our facility for processing.

Our Cocoa Sustainability Policy

We are committed to making a conscious and concerted effort to embrace cocoa sustainability, partnering with stakeholders in the whole cocoa supply chain to secure the future supply of cocoa and a thriving cocoa sector tomorrow.
Our Cocoa Sustainability Policy

Our Cocoa Sustainability Commitment

In 2019, we have become a member of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) in hopes to have a more prominent voice in the industry and in influencing the industry on our beliefs. These actions show our commitment in a long-term involvement, together with the industry, government of origin countries, NGOs and end consumer to make cocoa greener.
In early 2020, we have signed up to the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) that is a public-private partnership, collaborating with the governments of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, the world's leading cocoa and chocolate companies.
The framework specifically spells out the targets of ending deforestation and promoting forest restoration and protection in the cocoa supply chain. We are currently working towards having the action plan ready to be submitted to WCF for publication as soon as possible.
Our Cocoa Sustainability Commitment
We are also a committed member of the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (Forum Nachhaltiger Kakao) through a subsidiary Schokinag-Schokolade-Industrie GmbH, to contribute to the initiative's joint effort towards improving the livelihood of cocoa farmers and increasing the proportion of certified sustainable cocoa. As a member of this forum, Schokinag can exchange constructive views and ides on the topic of sustainability with other actors in the cocoa value chain.

Cocoa Sustainability Master Timeline

Our commitments are broken down to stages, as per the traceable cocoa and sustainable cocoa definition below, to ensure each stakeholder in the company can work step by step towards this macro goal.
25% Traceable
50% Traceable
100% Traceable
50% Sustainable
100% Sustainable
Traceable cocoa has been defined as cocoa that traceable from farm up to our premises.
Sustainable cocoa has been defined as cocoa that are produced according to international recognized sustainability standard, which shall include traceability with location mapping, address child labor and deforestation concerns.

Our Sustainability Focus

We have identified the following 4 pillars as its most important and urgent focus to commence its sustainability program:
Eliminating child labor in our supply chain

Eliminating child labor in our supply chain

Children are important asset for human, so we need to ensure children receive sufficient nutrition, education and prevented from labor activities. Currently partnering with NGO, we have conducted activities mainly to raise awareness on child labor, school attendance, birth registration and etc, all in hope to achieve our goal on eliminative child labor in our supply chain.
Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System is in place in an effort to monitor child labor activities and remediate should child labor be found in the system. Apart from these, we will continue to evaluate additional activities that are appropriate to help achieving the goal and improving the system.
Preserving and reforesting protected forest

Preserving and reforesting protected forest

A large reason for climate change comes from deforestation and as an agricultural commodity, the cocoa industry is also facing such issue. By tracking satellite imagery and some geographical information to identify the risks of deforestation, we will prevent sourcing from deforested regions and aim to reforest some designated regions, as well as convert some deforested regions into agroforestry to reduce the reliance of farmers solely on cocoa crops.
Since the cocoa crop is heavily influenced by seasonality, agroforestry will allow farmers to obtain income from other food crops during low cocoa crop season.
Mapping farms in our supply chain

Mapping farms in our supply chain

To ensure the compliances of all other focuses, a plan on mapping farmers, their farms and the area we source our beans from is in place. Additionally, by mapping its supply chain, we can have the visibility on the physical flow of cocoa beans from farms and farmers up to the warehouse in port.
We will implement a digital management system, with a software that is dedicated to build a database of farmers’ details, farmers’ family details, farm size and traceability, which will enable us to convey an accurate and timely information and guarantee the integrity, accountability and transparency over premium payments.
With these data as a basis, it will also allow us to monitor and evaluate the impact and achievement on its current targets and extend to future goals.
Sourcing 100% Sustainable Cocoa

Sourcing 100% Sustainable Cocoa

We have identified Ivory Coast as the first origin country to carry out its sustainability program, as it is the largest producing country, with 2.2 million tonnes of annual production, in order to achieve a wide level of impact.
In addition to that, we have also started its plan on having a local grinding facility in Ivory Coast, and therefore setting up a local procurement team, who will eventually lead and oversee the projects to ensure the initiatives are being carried out efficiently and effectively.
The Ivory Coast facility is scheduled to complete by first half of 2021 and the local procurement team will be set up once the facility is ready produce the products.

Future Developments

Once we have a clearer picture on how to carry out the project, we would gladly extend the project scope and additional origin countries to help even more farmers and their communities.

Farm Productivity

Farm productivity improvement is an essential pre-requisite for reducing pressure for agricultural encroachment in the forest area and includings four key actions
Good Agricultural Practice Good Agricultural Practice
Soil Fertility Management Soil Fertility Management
Integrated Pest Management Integrated Pest Management
Planting Material and Farm Rehabilitation Planting Material and Farm Rehabilitation

Community Development

Human rights including the protection of children, which is our existing focus, and non-discrimination of women are the two main issue to tackle in order to create a healthier socioeconomic standard. We will contribute to the establishment of more women’s associations to better understand their interests and needs to engage in the program. More focus on women can also help reducing child labor as women typically act as the guidance and protector of children. Apart from that, another issue that the origin countries face is the limitation of infrastructure. Therefore, building schools, providing education, study materials and school supplies are all under consideration in the longer term development of GCB’s own program in the origin country.

Roll Out Sustainability Initiatives in Other Origin

Following the success of projects implementation in Côte d'Ivoire, GCB will start looking into other African countries, Indonesia and South American countries to benefit additional farmers, their families and their communities.
Roll Out Sustainability Initiatives in Other Origin