Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, confirms a marked increase in the demand for certified cocoa and chocolate products. Strong consumer demand for ‘responsibly produced chocolate’ lies at the basis of this growth. Barry Callebaut welcomes this evolution, given its long-standing commitment to developing a more sustainable cocoa sector, beginning with local growers. The group expects that the sale of certified products will continue to grow significantly in 2010.
With over 17 years of experience in certified cocoa and chocolate, Barry Callebaut began with certification programs long before present-day interest appeared, and is now a leading global supplier of certified products for the food industry. Because of its extensive presence in origin countries, Barry Callebaut sources and supplies more than 100 product references of certified chocolates and cocoa powder and has projects with all of the main certification programs. These programs include developments for Fairtrade, Organic / Fairtrade, UTZ certified and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ products. The group also offers ‘Fair for Life’ certified products through its subsidiary Biolands.
To further the interests of both quality and sustainability, Barry Callebaut launched its own Quality Partner Program in Côte d’Ivoire in 2005. Including some 47 cooperatives and over 42,000 cocoa farmers, Barry Callebaut’s Quality Partner Program reinforces its direct sourcing initiatives while guaranteeing better quality produce and a better life for farmers and their communities.
Hans Vriens, chief innovation officer at Barry Callebaut: “While demand for organic certified chocolate has been growing steadily over the past ten years, we have seen a jump of more than 50% in the demand for fairtrade certified products in 2009 and an increase of 12% in certified products volume overall. These growth rates are significantly ahead of chocolate market growth rates. We are now complementing our offering with UTZ certified and Rainforest Alliance Certified products. This means that we will have products available that meet the standards of some or more of the most widely recognized sustainability labels in the world.”
Juergen B Steinemann, CEO at Barry Callebaut: “Everything at Barry Callebaut revolves around cocoa. It is a rich yet fragile crop grown in a narrow strip around the equator. It is mainly cultivated by small farm holders and their families in some of the poorest areas of the world. Focusing on sustainability is more than a mere optional extra for us; it is an imperative. In order to meet the rising demand for cocoa and chocolate, we must contribute to ensuring that cocoa is grown in a sustainable manner; one that generates income for farmers while also safeguarding the environment. We have been actively engaged for many years in programs which foster sustainable agricultural practices while also providing commercial and logistical support for cocoa farmers. The aim is to secure both the income of small cocoa farmers and the natural balance of the surrounding environment.”