Sustainable cocoa

Our cocoa business will only thrive when the people and places that grow cocoa also prosper. Cocoa production makes a significant contribution to the economies of producing countries. We support efforts in each country to strengthen the sector.

In many countries, serious challenges persist, including the need to improve labor practices, safeguard forests and raise farming family incomes. We are committed to partnering with cocoa sector administrating bodies and assisting farmers to produce cocoa for our clients that protects the environment and helps cocoa-farming families thrive.

Achieving sustainable cocoa is a conviction as well as an imperative for Sucden Cocoa. Success in this endeavor is vital for our business and our clients, but also for the countries that produce cocoa and the future of millions of farmers who rely on the crop for their livelihoods. Our aim is to supply the chocolate and cocoa processing industries with cocoa that helps farming families and communities, their countries and the planet prosper.

We know there’s no single solution to the complex and interconnected economic, social and environmental challenges facing the cocoa sector. That’s why we are relentlessly looking for innovative approaches and customizing our sourcing programs to suit local needs. Our approach is strengthened by close relationships with producing country authorities, farmers, expert organizations and industry groups. We form partnerships to speed improvements. We believe success will only come by working together and increasing the awareness of our business partners of the need to change the operational status quo.

Our approach

We are well-positioned to partner with clients in implementing sustainability programs, providing them with expertise and local insight to ensure success and confidence in their supply chain.

We tailor our sourcing approach in response to local conditions by drawing on three, interlinked ambitions.

Our aim is to source cocoa in a way that helps farming families, countries and the planet thrive.

We want cocoa farming families to flourish

Sucden Cocoa works with cocoa-growing families to diversify household incomes, assist children to attend school, and empower women by:

  • Prompting responsible labor practices

We are committed to playing our part to see that forced labor and the worst forms of child labor are eliminated. Children should not conduct work inappropriate for their age and should have improved opportunities to attend school. That’s why we are implementing child labor monitoring and remediation systems, while continuing to support farmer organizations with training on child and forced labor avoidance.

  • Promoting a living income for farmers

Achieving an income that allows farmers to invest in their family and farm is vital for safeguarding the future of cocoa. This is a complex issue where cocoa can play an important role. We’re working with expert partners to identify how best to improve and diversify farmer incomes as well as implement other activities that support this ambition.

  • Supporting women and communities

Sucden Cocoa engages expert delivery partners to support communities and address what matters most, such as access to healthcare and water. We facilitate programs that give agency to women in their roles as heads of households and community members.

We want to safeguard the planet

To reduce pressure on critical ecosystems, we support farms to grow cocoa more efficiently by:

  • Protecting forests

Our Forest Protection Policy commits us not to source from protected forested areas, for all cocoa that we purchase. We are implementing our policy first in Ivory Coast and Ghana, our largest sourcing origins, and we will monitor for forest encroachment by mapping the boundaries of all farms in our direct supply chain. As a member of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative, we collaborate to tackle deforestation and will continue to support farmers to comply with our policy through training on forest conservation and agroforestry.

  • Encouraging good agricultural practices

Better practices help farmers produce more, quality cocoa without encroaching on protected land. We make this possible by offering training to improve farm practices and by helping farmers access better plants and other agricultural inputs.

  • Sourcing from well-managed farmer organizations

Professionally run farmer organizations and cocoa farms are more successful. That’s why we offer business training to the management teams of farmer groups in Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria.              

We will continue to provide trustworthy cocoa

Our clients expect to know where their cocoa comes from and that it’s produced in a sustainable manner. They need cocoa they can trust. Sucden Cocoa uses technology and our in-country teams to provide clients the information and insights they need by:

  • Offering a fully traceable supply chain

We source cocoa predominately from Ivory Coast and Ghana. By 2024, we will complete the mapping of our supply chain where programs are in place. In these countries that includes a digital record of the farms from which we source, and the boundaries of these farms, enabling us to monitor for forest encroachment. As of 2019, all 30,000 farms in our sustainability programs were mapped in this way.

  • Sourcing cocoa tailored to client specifications

Sucden Cocoa help clients source beans that meet their own sustainability requirements or those of certification standards. We manage and assess programs to ensure that premiums for growing certified cocoa are correctly disbursed to farmers and client investments in sustainable cocoa programs are used effectively.

  • Enabling clients to track their sustainability journey

We provide access to personalized dashboards showing sustainability program delivery information. This makes it easy for clients to confirm that their cocoa production requirements are in place at the farms growing the cocoa that they ultimately purchase.