Recently, I came across a fairly new Nestle innovation I couldn’t resist trying. It was the new Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup and even though it was a Monday and I try to eat healthy (or relatively healthy may be a better way to put it) on weekdays, I bought said candy bar and devoured it as soon as I got back in my car. Clearly my health initiative and self-control are a work in progress. Anywayyyyy, unfortunately, the candy bar was not as amazing as I had hoped. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed every second of eating it, but being a peanut butter candy fanatic, I had VERY VERY VERY high expectations. So from now on I will just continue to consume Butterfingers and peanut butter cups separately. But I digress. The important part of this story is that I noticed a stamp on the wrapper that said “Nestle Cocoa Plan” and Googled it to find out what it was.
The Cocoa Plan is Nestle’s initiative to solve the environmental and social problems that often plague the cocoa industry, which I mentioned in my very first blog post. Nestle’s solution to these issues is to educate the farming communities and create partnerships with 3rd party organizations to assure that Nestle is implementing ethical business practices.
Farmers are being educated on sustainable cocoa farming techniques, which will create a more effective supply chain and allow the farmers to produce more crops, ultimately resulting in increased wages. Nestle is working with UTZ* and Fairtrade* to certify farm practices with the 3rd partys’ standards of ethics, both in terms of environmental
sustainability and working conditions. Most recently, the Kit Kat production in the UK has become 100% Fairtrade certified and the goal is to get all European Kit Kat production UTZ certified by the end of 2014.
Nestle is also working with the International Cocoa initiative (ICI)* and World Cocoa Foundation (WCF)* to insure child labor is not being used and the children have access to education. The goal is to open 40 new schools in targeted communities in rural parts of the Ivory Coast.
So props to Nestle for taking an initiative. Obviously, like they said, the Plan isn’t a quick fix, but to me the important thing is that they are making an effort. So excuse me while I go devour as much Nestle Easter candy I can in the next 4 days. But like, not because I want to eat all that candy, I obviously just want to support the Cocoa Plan! You can learn more about the Cocoa Plan HERE.
*Fairtrade Certified– Fairtrade works to assure fair wages, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
*UTZ Certified – UTZ provides ethical standards for sustainable farming and opportunities for farmers, their families and our planet.
*International Cocoa Initiative– Their mission is to “oversee and sustain efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor and forced labor in the growing and processing of cocoa beans and their derivative products.”
*World Cocoa Foundation– This foundation promotes sustainable cocoa business practices through economic and social development.