What is the Nestlé Cocoa Plan?

The Cocoa Plan is Nestlé’s way of helping to tackle key issues facing cocoa farmers, their families and communities to create a better future for cocoa farming.

Through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, we distribute higher-yielding, disease-resistant cocoa plants, train farmers in better agricultural practices, support women farmers and improve access to education for children.

By working closely with farming cooperatives and paying a premium for quality, we aim to reduce the complexity of the supply chain, improve returns to farmers and improve the quality of cocoa for Nestlé.

Whilst the Cocoa Plan is principally focused on Côte d’Ivoire (who produces approximately 40% of the cocoa world production), it also covers Nestlé’s global cocoa sourcing activities in South America, Indonesia and the whole West Africa region.

Nestlé in Canada is proud to use only 100% UTZ certified sustainable cocoa, sourced through the Cocoa Plan to craft some of the most loved products in Canada. Learn more at www.nestlecocoaplan.com.

Which Nestlé brands use 100% sustainable cocoa?

Nestlé in Canada is proud to source for its Canadian production purposes only 100% UTZ certified sustainable cocoa, supplied through the Cocoa Plan. This cocoa is used for all of our main Kit Kat, Aero, Smarties and Coffee Crisp formats and all Turtles treats. Check specific product packaging, as it always discloses if the cocoa sourced comes from the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.

How can consumers be confident that the Cocoa Plan is making a legitimate difference?

This is a collaborative effort, we comply to independent third party audits and are working with credible partners such as UTZ and the International Cocoa Initiative. Nestlé is also reporting progress in our Creating Shared Value report every year.

Are you paying more for the cocoa you purchase through the Cocoa Plan?

Yes, we pay a quality premium of over CHF180.- per tonne (around CAD 200.-). UTZ demonstrated that certified cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire had a bigger household income than non-certified farmers.

But that’s not the only benefit of the Cocoa plan – we are also fostering stronger communities through the distribution stronger plants, training farmers in better agricultural practices, supporting women farmers and improving access to education for children.

How does this compare to what your competition is doing?

Many companies involved in the cocoa industry have developed worthwhile initiatives. Nestlé has been active in supporting cocoa sustainability for many years. For example, our plant science on cocoa trees has been developed over the past 15 years, as part of a 30-year overall plant science programme, and our work with farming communities goes back much longer than that. In addition we have been active members in key industry initiatives and are a founding member of the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) to address child labour in cocoa farming.

What is UTZ?

UTZ is a program and label for sustainable farming of coffee, cocoa, tea and hazelnuts. It is a highly respected organization that shares our long-term commitment to improving conditions for farmers through education, training and community development.

Discover more about how UTZ works: www.utz.org.  

I heard about mass balance. What does that mean?

Cocoa is shipped and processed in large quantities, which means it is usually very costly to keep certified cocoa separate from non-certified cocoa.

Mass balancing means that at certain stages of the supply chain, the UTZ certified cocoa and the conventional cocoa can be mixed. However, the UTZ logo can only be printed on the equivalent amount of products that correspond to the quantity of UTZ certified cocoa purchased.

In other words, Nestlé Canada purchases enough UTZ certified cocoa to cover the needs of our Canadian production, and although it might get mixed with conventional cocoa later on, we can still display the UTZ label on our end products – as we do support cocoa farming communities for the totality of our production.

Mass balance makes it more feasible for companies to source sustainable ingredients. Therefore, it encourages companies to make the transition towards buying sustainable cocoa, which in turn means more farmers see the benefits.

What about your palm oil?

We are working to increase the amount of responsibly sourced palm oil in our supply chain and to ensure that our suppliers comply with our Responsible Sourcing Guideline.

We require all of the companies that supply us with palm oil to:

With our partner The Forest Trust (TFT), we are mapping our palm oil supply chain. Over 90% of the palm oil we source is traceable back to mills that process palm and 47% of is traceable back to the plantation.

This means that our suppliers either meet our guideline or have an action plan in place to do so. Our ambition is to achieve 70% traceability back to plantation level by the end of 2017.

We’re also focusing on technical assistance programmes for smallholder farmers, including the 'Rurality' initiative that TFT is developing. This focus on smallholders is a direct way of improving our responsible sourcing of palm oil and of making a bigger difference to the livelihoods of farmers that supply us.


    • Comply with local laws and regulations;
    • Not cultivate palm or source it from areas cleared of natural forest after November 2005;
    • Respect the free, prior and Informed consent of local and indigenous communities;
    • Protect high-carbon-value forests;
    • Protect peatlands; and
    • Comply with the principles and criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the industry-wide certification body that promotes the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products.