Sustainable Origins Strategy

Sustainable Origins Strategy

Blommer Chocolate works closely with our customers, suppliers, international organizations and implementation partners on customized sustainability programs. First initiated in 2004, they now cover about 61% of the cocoa we source globally, and 78% of the cocoa we source from West Africa.

Safeguarding the Environment

Group of people sorting through cocoa pods

Throughout all of our sustainability work, safeguarding the environment and preserving the planet for future generations is considered essential. This is a global commitment that customers and producers entrust us to uphold. This is not necessarily an easy task however as there is much evidence that shows that since 2000 there has been a considerable expansion of area under cocoa in Cote d’Ivoire which has come at the expense of virgin rain forest.

Blommer recognizes that the cultivation of agricultural commodities, including cocoa, has been a driver of accelerated deforestation and forest degradation in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the world’s leading producers of cocoa. In response to this challenging problem, Blommer, working with other industry leaders and key development partners, helped to establish the Cocoa and Forests Initiative. Through this effort we have announced our commitment to end deforestation and forest degradation in our direct supply chains in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

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 acceptable manner. In all of our efforts, we understand the critical need for a balanced and comprehensive approach between farmers’ livelihoods and the environmental challenges. View Blommer's statement on deforestation.

  • Cocoa Forest Initiative
    Woman, outside, sorting through cocoa beans

    The Cocoa & Forest Initiative

    Blommer was one of the 12 chocolate and cocoa companies, working with key development partners that helped establish the Cocoa and Forests Initiative, a collective multistakeholder effort launched in partnership with the Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit (ISU) in January, 2017. Blommer participated in building CFI Frameworks for Action released in November 2017. We published our initial action plan in March 2019.

    In early 2020, we published our first Cocoa & Forest Initiative report. Our strategy is aligned with CFI priorities:

    • Forest protection and restoration
      In 2018 and 2019 we have focused on the distribution of 28,084 fruit and forest trees to farmers to be planted on their existing cocoa farms. We promote the planting of 20 forest and fruit trees/ha so have with the distribution of the trees lead to approx. 1,404ha of agroforestry.
    • Sustainable production and farmers’ livelihoods
      Blommer promoted the planting of 260,598 cocoa seedlings which had been sewn in 13 cocoa nurseries leading to the rehabilitation of 195ha of cocoa farms. During 2019, a total of 3,716 farmers were trained on GAP as part of group and/or individual training.
    • Community engagement and social inclusion
      Blommer is working with 9 communities in 2019 across a variety of community development activities including VSLA. A total of 492 farmers were participating in VSLAs.

    CFI Blommer 2020 report.

    Looking Ahead

    Since 2018, signatory companies have been working to fulfill their commitments to end deforestation and restore degraded forests in the cocoa sector. In 2019, the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana delivered on numerous commitments which have informed company planning.

    In collaboration with a customer partner and The Alliance of Biodiversity International and CIAT, a new program will be launched in 2020. The project has the following key objectives:

    • 42 communities (forested or not) in Vavoua and Lakota have sustainable access and income from consumption and sale of forest products, including cocoa.
    • Actual and future forest resources are sustainably managed for a combination of timber and non-timber products.

    Beside this specific project in 2 landscapes, Blommer will continue to promote on and off farm multipurpose tree planting in an around cocoa growing communities and engage with existing communities on a variety of community development activities.

    • Refraining from spraying trees close to water or path used by humans
    • Respecting natural water sources and not cleaning pesticide containers in streams/rivers
    • Disposing pesticide containers in an appropriate manner