Lindt & Sprüngli reports that 100 percent of its cocoa beans are traceable and externally verified.
The company developed its own sustainability program for cocoa beans in 2008, the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program. The initiative began in Ghana and is now established in all five countries from which Lindt & Sprüngli sources cocoa beans.
The program promotes the ecological and socially responsible cultivation of cocoa beans and supports farmers, their families, and their communities according to their specific needs. Local partners implement the program with teams of local field staff.
With the 2020 harvest season, 100 percent of Lindt & Sprüngli’s cocoa beans are traceable back to the farmers and the program is verified by an independent third party, the Earthworm Foundation.
Lindt & Sprüngli takes on responsibility for every step in the production process. This begins with the purchase of beans from its Farming Program, continues with the production of cocoa and chocolate masses in its factories, and ends with the final product.
As soon as the beans are packed into transport bags and sold by the farmer, they receive a unique identification in the form of a barcode. The beans can be assigned to the Farming Program and the participating farmers. Afterwards, the beans destined for Lindt & Sprüngli are transported separately and physically segregated on their way to the factories.
Farming Program activities have been verified by the non-profit organization Earthworm Foundation since 2015. The organization independently verifies the activities, processes, and effectiveness of the Farming Program on site at least once a year and supports Lindt & Sprüngli and the local implementation partners in developing action plans for further improvements.
"The challenges in the cocoa-growing countries for Lindt & Sprüngli, as well as for the entire chocolate industry, are very complex,” said Lindt & Sprüngli Group CEO Dieter Weisskopf. “It is therefore extremely important for us to address the issues in a targeted manner with our own Farming Program to directly achieve sustainable improvements. Reaching the interim goal of 100 percent traceable and verified cocoa beans is an important milestone for us. We will continue to pursue our path with great energy and continuously expand and improve the program. It is clear - there is still a lot to do".
Lindt & Sprüngli continues to work on sustainable sourcing strategies for other cocoa products such as cocoa butter, so that by 2025 all these will be sourced through sustainability programs.