Frequently asked questions
The heart of the chocolate produced by Lindt & Sprüngli is the finest cocoa. Knowing which of the many different origins of cocoa beans will best contribute to the distinctive taste of a product is a skill that have perfected over time. High quality beans from the most renowned cocoa origins around the world are selected: Ghana, Latin America (mainly Ecuador), Madagascar, Papua New Guinea and the Caribbean Islands. Learn more
For our premium ingredients, especially our cocoa beans, we work on sustainable farming programs and develop long-term relationships with the farmers. In our Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program in Ghana, Ecuador and Madagascar, we pay a price premium for traceability and verification, and support the farmers in improving their agricultural, environmental and social farming practices and the livelihood of farmers and their communities. Our implementation partner in Ghana is the not-for-profit organization Source Trust.
Internal monitoring systems measure continuous progress, while external assessments verify the progress made. This means we can guarantee consistent high quality and continuous improvement of sustainability standards.
The Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program includes the following elements:
Step 1: Traceability and farmer organization
Limit the involvement of intermediaries farmers are organized and registered; Gather and analyze data about farms, farmers and communities, e.g. number and age of trees, agricultural practices, number of children in family, community infrastructure
Step 2: Training and knowledge transfer
Sensitize farmers and their families about worst forms of child labor; Train farmers in professional business, agricultural, social, and ecological farming methods; Improve farmer’s harvest; Motivate and train young and female farmers
Step 3: Farmer investment and community development
Support farmers, e.g. provide cocoa seedlings, farming equipment Support; communities, e. g. provide access to clean drinking water, mosquito nets, schooling facilities
Step 4: Verification and continuous progress
Monitor performance and measure continuous progress; Perform assessments by independent external organizations; Assure effectiveness of the Program
Traceability is the base for all other activities to improve the farmers’ and communities’ livelihoods. We need to know who produces our cocoa and what the conditions on the ground are to be able to support them with the right actions.
The goal of verification is to measure continuous progress and see if certain agricultural, social and environmental standards are met at the farm level and in the sourcing system, to be able to implement corrective actions where needed.
- Overall, for 2016, a rate of 97% of traceable cocoa beans, and a rate of 57% of traceable and verified cocoa beans sourced from all origins for all products was reached.
- Lindt & Sprüngli is working towards a fully traceability and verification cocoa supply chain by 2020.
There are many ways to strive for sustainable and responsible cocoa sourcing practices. This can also include individual projects and purchasing methods that are not part of global certification and labeling organizations such as Fair Trade, UTZ or Rainforest Alliance. We have the same goals as certification bodies, and collaborate in projects on the ground if suitable. However, Lindt & Sprüngli decided to build up its own sourcing system, mainly because of a combination of the following reasons:
- We consider our control over every step of the production chain as perfect opportunity to integrate our own systems and processes with regards to sustainability. Therefore, we take responsibility for what we do and do not shift the responsibility to others.
- As a Premium Chocolate maker, our sourcing model targets our entire cocoa beans supply chain. We do not want to split our product portfolio in “labeled” products and “others”.
- The volumes, specific origin and flavor characteristics we require on a constant basis cannot be met by currently existing certification schemes (mass balance is not an option for us - we want to know where the beans are coming from).
- The farmers, their families, workers and communities are in the focus of our efforts. We therefore want to ensure that as many investments as possible are reaching and benefitting the farmers and their communities.
Lindt & Sprüngli is extremely concerned about possible practices of child labor and condemns any abusive practices. By improving the livelihoods of farmers and their communities, the risk of child labor can be reduced. Further, with the traceability and verification within our Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, we are able to identify potential cases of child labor and remediate them.