GATWICK, UK – Nestlé UK and Ireland has today announced that its KitKat brand will source Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa from October 2020. The move comes as the business invests more in sustainably sourced cocoa; and harmonises certification for confectionery products within its global portfolio. Nestlé will provide financial support to enable Fairtrade farmers to certify their farms to the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard as well if they wish.
Nestlé and the Rainforest Alliance already have a long-standing partnership and will continue to work together to build farmer resiliency, tackle key social and environmental issues such as child labour, and empower farmers with the knowledge and skills to negotiate for themselves in the global marketplace; all of which are fundamental to the long-term sustainability of the sector.
Simon Billington, Global Technical Manager for Nestlé Confectionery said: ”Our expanded partnership with the Rainforest Alliance underlines our commitment to sustainable cocoa sourcing throughout our global supply chain.
“We are aware that the move will have an impact on some farmers, and we are working hard to mitigate this. Nestlé will be maintaining the same level of cocoa spend for the 2020-21 season. We will be investing in a series of initiatives to support farmers and our cocoa growing communities over the next two years, including £1 million to develop an industry-first living income pilot and a further £500,000 on community projects.
“We want to continue working with our Fairtrade farmers and we will pay for them to get to the level required by the UTZ standard, which since 2018 has been part of the Rainforest Alliance certification programme. If farmers are not able to do this in time for the next crop, we will also provide them with financial support for the coming year.
“Our successful partnership with Fairtrade is ending as we harmonise our certification for sustainable sourcing internationally. Over the last 10 years, Fairtrade and KitKat, together with millions of KitKat lovers in the UK, have supported cocoa farmers in the Cote d’Ivoire. We are grateful to the Fairtrade organisation and proud of the work that KitKat has supported with them.
“The Rainforest Alliance has significant experience working with cocoa farmers in understanding and implementing robust sustainability criteria that drives positive change, and we look forward to deepening our collaboration in the coming years.”
Alex Morgan, Chief Markets Officer, Rainforest Alliance commented: “We’re delighted Nestlé is strengthening its position in the cocoa sector and unifying its responsible cocoa sourcing commitment across all of its portfolios. This announcement comes at an exciting time for the Alliance having just released a new seal and due to publish the new, improved Sustainable Agriculture Standard this month. Our certification programmes continue to connect companies, consumers, farmers and businesses committed to protecting the health of ecosystems, workers, and communities by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of food producers.”
Over the past decade, Nestlé has invested CHF 220 million (£180 million) in the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, which currently delivers 200,000 tonnes of certified sustainable cocoa annually. Through the plan, Nestlé has provided millions of more disease-resistant trees to cocoa communities, worked to reduce child labour through strengthening education provision and infrastructure, and has trained 114,000 farmers on sustainable farming best practice since 2018.
Nestlé has committed to sourcing 100% of the cocoa it uses for confectionery worldwide from the Nestlé Cocoa Plan by 2025. Nestlé UK and Ireland has sourced 100% certified, sustainable cocoa for its entire chocolate and biscuit portfolio since 2015, and this latest step will ensure consistency and security across the business’s global supply chain.
More information on the Nestlé Cocoa Plan can be found at www.nestlecocoaplan.com.