Memberships & Partnerships

Memberships & Partnerships


World Cocoa Foundation

The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is an international membership organization that promotes sustainability in the cocoa sector by providing cocoa farmers with the support they need to grow more quality cocoa and strengthen their communities.

Lindt & Sprüngli is a member of WCF since 2015, and regularly supports specific projects and initiatives of the organization. These projects are for example the Climate Smart Cocoa Initiative, the Covid-19 Response and the Cocoa & Forest Initiative.

Cocoa & Forests Inititiative

The governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and 35 leading cocoa and chocolate companies, representing 85% of global cocoa usage, have joined together in the Cocoa & Forests Initiative to end deforestation and restore forest areas. Their combined actions play a crucial role in sequestering carbon stocks in West African forests and addressing climate change, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. The Cocoa & Forests Initiative delivers on Sustainable Development Goal 13 (Climate Action) and 15 (Life on Land). The public private partnership is based on frameworks for action and action plans that spell out commitments to: protect and restore forests, promote sustainable cocoa production and farmers’ livelihoods, and engage communities and boost social inclusion. The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF); IDH - the Sustainable Trade Initiative; and the Governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana drive the Cocoa & Forests Initiative.

Lindt & Sprüngli is a signatory of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative and has published multi-year targets for its sustainable sourcing programs in Ghana & Côte d’Ivoire, including for example the target to plant 2.7 million shade trees until 2022. As active member of the CFI, Lindt & Sprüngli reports on progress on an annual basis (see No-Deforestation & Agroforestry Progress Report).

Earthworm Foundation

The Earthworm Foundation (formerly known as The Forest Trust - TFT) is a non-profit organization working with global companies, NGOs and communities to transform supply chains for people and nature.

In 2015, Lindt & Sprüngli started working with the Earthworm Foundation as external assessment partner and became officially a member of the organization in June 2016. At least once a year, Earthworm Foundation visits and evaluates each of the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Programs for cocoa beans. Progress is regularly communicated on its Transparency Hub.

Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa 

The Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa (SWISSCO) is a multi-stakeholder initiative for more sustainability in the cocoa value chain. It fosters collaboration between the cocoa and chocolate industry, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, and research institutes. Together, the members of the Platform actively engage to improve the living conditions of cocoa farmers, to protect natural resources, and to promote biodiversity in cocoa producing countries. 
Lindt & Sprüngli (Switzerland) AG and the Lindt Cocoa Foundation are active members since its foundation in January 2018 and also participate in its working groups.

UN Global Compact

Aim of the UN Global Compact: Aligning business operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

Lindt & Sprüngli is a member of the UN Global Compact. As such, Lindt & Sprüngli reports yearly on the progress made regarding the principles of the UN Global Compact.


Lindt Cocoa Foundation

The Lindt Cocoa Foundation was founded in 2013 and has the declared purpose of working to achieve social and ecological sustainability in the cultivation, production and processing of cocoa and other raw materials used in chocolate production. The Lindt Cocoa Foundation supplements the already existing endeavors of the Lindt & Sprüngli Group designed to improve the living and working conditions of farmers in the countries of origin of the raw materials, and co-funds certain elements within the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program. Its projects ensure that raw material procurement is done in a way which works more effectively towards sustainable agricultural development.

IDH – Sustainable Trade Initiative

IDH drives sustainability from niche to norm; by convening companies, civil society organizations, governments and others in public-private partnerships. Together with partners, IDH designs, co-funds and prototypes new economically viable approaches to realize green & inclusive growth at scale. IDH’s approaches are designed to drive sustainability in commodity sectors and sourcing areas, while delivering impact on the Sustainable Development Goals.

IDH is a co-funding partner of the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program in Ghana, and supports us to drive innovations for the benefit of the cocoa farmers and their families through the Nutritional Behaviour Change Programme in 40 Ghanaian communities.

Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) 

Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Turrialba, Costa Rica, is dedicated to education, research and development in agriculture, and the management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. CATIE maintains the second-largest collection of cocoa germplasm worldwide and works on the generation of better varieties with its Cacao Genetic Improvement Program. 

Lindt & Sprüngli collaborates with CATIE on a project which aims to test the performance of different fine-flavor cacao varieties in agroforestry systems. Within the project, a multi-year trial with ten cacao clones and two types of agroforestry systems will be established in Costa Rica. As agroforestry is promoted as a sustainable production method with cacao farmers, this project will deliver new insights as to which fine flavor varieties should be distributed in sustainability programs.

Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation

Helvetas is an independent Swiss development organization that is building capacity in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. In collaboration with local partners, Helvetas implements development projects in the areas of water and sanitation, agriculture and nutrition, education and skills development, private sector development, governance, peace and migration, and climate and disaster resilience. 

Helvetas is an implementation partner of the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program in Madagascar. Helvetas supports the strengthening of the capacities of exporters' trainers who support farmers to improve productivity and quality of cocoa produced, supports the development of additional income generating activities for farmers and the installment of community infrastructure, mainly water.


Ecotop offers services in the area of rural development. The organization focuses on sustainable agriculture based on the natural dynamic of ecosystems (Succesional Agroforestry Systems), with particular expertise the improvement of cocoa production systems in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Ecotop’s objective is to promote agriculture and agro-forestry as a central axis for sustainable development in tropical regions, considering food security, biodiversity and resiliance of impacts of climate change.
Ecotop provides technical support for the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program implementation partners in Ecuador. The field staff learns how to establish agroforestry plots and monitor the these demo plots. The goal of the collaboration is to enable the local teams to test and scale dynamic agroforestry in the Farming Program, allowing farmers to diversify their income sources.

ETH Zurich 

ETH Zurich is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics university in Zürich, Switzerland. The EcoVision Lab at ETH Zurich conducts research at the frontier of machine learning, computer vision, and remote sensing to solve ecological questions. Its objective is to invent original, data-driven methods at the interface of computer science, ecology, and engineering that analyse environmental data at very large scale automatically. The EcoVision Lab has a growing focus and expertise on applying innovative (deep) machine learning and big data analysis technology to solve open scientific questions of high relevance to the cocoa industry. 

Together with partners from The University of Queensland in Australia, ETH Zurich is developing methods for remotely estimating shade-tree cover and carbon stocks and spatially explicit recommendations for the implementation of cocoa agroforests. Once available, this technology will enable the monitoring of progress towards the implementation of agroforestry targets in the Farming Program. 

Nature Conservation Research Centre (NCRC) 

Nature Conservation Research Centre (NCRC) is a Ghanaian non-profit organization implementing conservation initiatives to promote a greater awareness of and protection for the natural, historic and cultural diversity of Ghana and, ultimately, the West African sub-region. The organization is recognized internationally as a leader in developing rural ecotourism and community protected areas as a means of economic development and resource conservation. 

Lindt & Sprüngli collaborates with NCRC in Ghana to promote greater collaboration in cocoa regions. The organization is developing a monitoring framework to measuring progress of sustainability initiatives at landscape level and implements projects based on the Landscape Approach in two Hostspot Intervention Areas in the country. As part of these projects, NCRC builds locally embedded governance structures from community-based resource management, enabling the protection of forests beyond company supply chains.