Blommer Chocolate Company recognizes that the cultivation of agricultural commodities, including cocoa, has been a driver of accelerated deforestation and forest degradation over the past 50 years in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the world’s leading producers of cocoa. In response to this challenging problem, Blommer, one of the 34 chocolate and cocoa companies, working with key development partners, helped to establish the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI - www.cocoaandforests.org), a collective multistakeholder effort launched in partnership with the Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit (ISU) in January, 2017. Through this effort Blommer has announced our commitment to end deforestation and forest degradation in our supply chains in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
Blommer was one of the 12 original signatories of this platform with HRH Prince Charles and we are engaged in the building of the framework that will be announced at the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change, scheduled for November 2017 in Bonn, Germany. This framework will provide for a common industry vision and serve to align chocolate and cocoa companies’ individual sustainability plans.
Given the vital role that smallholder cocoa farming plays in providing for employment and income in local communities, efforts to end deforestation and forest degradation must be done in a socially sustainable manner that avoids abrupt removal of cocoa farmers and their family members from agriculturally productive lands without making provisions for them to access viable alternative sources of employment and income. In all of our efforts, we understand the critical need for a balanced and comprehensive approach.
In addition to our work with the ISU, over the past several years Blommer has incorporated various sustainable activities and partnerships with an anti-deforestation focus into our Sustainable Origins™ platform.
- Blommer joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2013. The RSPO is the leading organization in the palm industry addressing the issue of deforestation. (www.rspo.org)
- Blommer began our partnership with the Rainforest Alliance (RA) in 2008. We were recognized with RA’s “Sustainability Standard-Setter” Award in 2012 and their "Corporate Sustainability Champion” Award in 2017. The Rainforest Alliance’s mission is biodiversity conservation. (www.rainforest-alliance.org)
- In the Ivory Coast, Blommer’s sustainability programs have introduced over 250,000 non-cocoa shade trees into the farming communities to help build agricultural diversity.
Blommer Chocolate will continue to work towards sustainable deforestation across all farming communities and will communicate this work through our website. (blommer.com/sustainable-origins)