Nestlé’s biggest bars bring better lives to cocoa farmers

To Press Releases listToronto, ON,Dec 6, 2011

The Cocoa Plan launches in Canada

Canadian chocolate lovers can now enjoy their favourite treats even more as regular size formats of KIT KAT, AERO, COFFEE CRISP and SMARTIES, are now part of The Cocoa Plan – Nestlé’s global program dedicated to improving the lives of farmers in cocoa-growing regions of the world.

The Cocoa Plan is an initiative in which Nestlé is working to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers through a number of programs including: distributing higher-yield, disease-resistant plants that produce more income, providing education for farmers and their families, improving infrastructure in farming communities and addressing and eliminating the use of child labour in the cocoa supply chain.

Canada is one of the first five countries in the world to introduce Cocoa Plan sourced chocolate.

“Nestlé is investing $120 million through The Cocoa Plan to help address some of the very complex challenges that are facing the cocoa farming communities that we work with,” said Terri Tinella, president of Nestlé Canada’s confectionary division. “For Canadians, The Cocoa Plan is an opportunity to make a simple choice that will benefit people and communities in other parts of the world. The Cocoa Plan is part of Nestlé’s commitment to Creating Shared Value — the idea that the company’s business activities should benefit our shareholders, and at the same time create value in the communities we work in and source ingredients from.”

The Cocoa Plan: Sustainable supply, comprehensive commitment

Approximately 95 per cent of cocoa today is grown on small family farms – many of which face challenges related to diseased crops and other economic and social stresses. In fact, disease and aging plant stocks are leading contributors to the decline in cocoa productivity. With limited financial and educational resources, farmers and families are struggling to maintain their cocoa crops, leading to a global reduction in cocoa supply. The Cocoa Plan aims to improve the productivity of individual cocoa farms to ensure that Canadians can enjoy their favourite chocolate brands for years to come.

Working in partnership with communities, Nestlé is focusing its efforts on areas of greatest need: farmer education, sustainability (plant science), supply chain efficiency, improving social conditions and working with partners to address local issues.

The journey toward a sustainable cocoa supply

Nestlé Canada is now purchasing enough cocoa from The Cocoa Plan initiative to produce regular sizes of its top-selling bars, Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp, Aero and Smarties, in single and multi-pack formats.

As part of The Cocoa Plan, Nestlé will:

  • Help improve social conditions. Nestlé is the first food company in the world to partner with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) – an independent, non-profit multi-stakeholder initiative that will investigate whether children are working on cocoa farms supplying its factories. Where they find evidence of child labour, the FLA will identify the root causes and advise Nestlé on how to address them in ways that are sustainable and lasting. Investigative work will begin early in 2012 in the Ivory Coast, the world’s largest exporter of cocoa. A public report will be released in the spring of 2012, the results of which will guide Nestlé’s future operations.
  • Train 30,000 cocoa farmers in the areas of plant science and tree propagation by 2015. Nestlé’s farmer training program helps cocoa farmers adopt sustainable farming practices, improve yields and quality of plants and increase income derived from cocoa farming.
  • Distribute 12 million high-yielding, disease-resistant trees by 2019. To date, more than one million trees have been distributed, enabling farmers to replace crops of aging, unproductive cocoa trees.

UTZ: Independent certification

Nestlé Canada has partnered with UTZ Certified, an independent international non-profit organization, whose vision is to achieve sustainable supply on the Cocoa Plan initiative. UTZ Certified is working with Nestlé to certify Cocoa Plan partner cooperatives.

“The goal of the UTZ certification program is three-fold: improved economic and social conditions for the farmers and their communities; traceability for assurance that the cocoa was sustainably-sourced and; helping consumers continue to enjoy their favorite brands while feeling good the products were grown responsibly,” says Daan de Vries, Head of Cocoa at UTZ. “We’re excited that an organization as large and iconic as Nestlé is bringing certified cocoa products to the Canadian market.”

About The Cocoa Plan

The Cocoa Plan is Nestlé’s way of helping to tackle key issues facing cocoa farmers, their families and communities in order to create a brighter future for cocoa farming and a sustainable supply of cocoa. It covers all aspects of a cocoa bean’s journey, starting with farmers and ending with the consumer. Nestlé’s vision for The Cocoa Plan is to help cocoa farmers run profitable farms, respect the environment, have a good quality of life and for their children to benefit from an education and see cocoa farming as a respectable profession. For more information visit www.thecocoaplan.com.

About Nestlé Canada

Backed by more than a century of research and experience, Nestlé Canada's vision is to be the most trusted and respected food and nutrition company in Canada, bringing Good Food, Good Life to Canadians. Nestlé in Canada manufactures some of the world's most recognized and trusted brands, including NESTLÉ PROFESSIONAL, STOUFFER'S, LEAN CUISINE, NESQUIK, NESTLÉ GOOD START, POWERBAR, HÄAGEN-DAZS, KIT KAT, NESCAFÉ, NESTLÉ PURE LIFE, NESTLÉ DRUMSTICK and Nestlé Purina BENEFUL. Nestlé in Canada employs approximately 3,600 people in more than 20 manufacturing sites, sales offices and distribution centres across the country.