The term bean-to-bar is used for manufacturers who produce chocolate themselves from the cocoa bean onwards (in-house) and take on full responsibility for every single step in the production process. In Lindt & Sprüngli's case, this begins with the purchase of cocoa beans through its own Farming Program, continues with the production of cocoa mass in its own production facilities and extends to the processing of the chocolate – from the selection of the cocoa beans to the finished product, including marketing and distribution.
As one of the few global chocolate manufacturers, Lindt & Sprüngli produces chocolate products from "bean to bar".
A chocolate made with more than one type of cocoa.
- Child labor:
Child labor is defined as work for which children are too young or which is dangerous or exploitative, harms physical or mental development or prevents children from attending school. It deprives children of their childhood and violates children's rights that apply worldwide.
Lindt & Sprüngli strongly condemns all forms of child labor.
By improving the livelihoods of farmers and their communities, the risk of child labor can be reduced. For this reason, the goal of our sustainability program, the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, is to improve farmers' livelihoods. The focus on traceability and verification within our Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program also enables us to identify and address potential cases of child labor.
As part of the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, we have defined clear guidelines and an action plan to combat child labor.
- Cocoa bean:
Cocoa beans are the seeds of the cocoa tree. The cocoa beans are the heart and soul of fruit and the basis for making chocolate; they are used to make cocoa powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass and finally chocolate. There are generally 40 to 60 beans in each cocoa fruit pod.
- Cocoa fruit:
The cocoa fruit grows on the trunks of the cocoa tree and takes four to five months to grow and another month to ripen. Altogether, it takes five to eight months from bud to ripe fruit.
The pod is green while maturing and turns yellow, orange, red or purple when ripe.
The cocoa fruit pods can vary significantly in size, from 10 to 40cm in length.
- Cocoa mass:
Cocoa mass is a thick, chewy, and dark brown paste that forms the basis for all chocolate products.
- Cocoa nibs:
Cocoa nibs are cocoa bean fragments that have been separated from their shells, broken into smaller pieces, and roasted.
- Cocoa tree (Theobroma Cacao):
The tropical tree that produces cocoa beans. Theobroma means "food of the gods".
The cocoa tree is very demanding when it comes to climatic conditions, which are only found in countries in the latitudes between 20 degrees north to 20 degrees south of the equator.
The plant is a moisture-loving evergreen tropical tree that needs shade. Cocoa originates from seeds. These seeds germinate and produce good trees when they come from pods that are no more than 15 days green. Criollo and Forastero cocoa trees take longer to produce fruit. Hybrid varieties can be harvested three to four years after planting.
Factors such as farm management, soil type, diversity of cocoa trees, climate, diseases or pests have a huge impact on productivity. 30 years after planting, the yield of cocoa trees begins to decline. Then rehabilitation in the form of replanting or grafting is necessary to restore the original condition.
- Cocoa varieties:
As with wine or coffee, there are different cocoa varieties. The main varieties are Criollo, Trinitario (fine flavored cocoa) and Forastero (consumer cocoa). The varieties also have sub-varieties which are often of regional origin (through mutations, etc.). In the case of Criollo, for example, there is Porcelana, which is grown in Venezuela.
The name of a machine and process of stirring, aerating, and heating chocolate in a certain way, making it particularly smooth. Invented by Rodolphe Lindt, one of Lindt & Sprüngli’s founding fathers, in 1879.
- Consumer cocoa:
Cocoa with robust, often flat flavors (usually of the Forastero variety). Consumer cocoa accounts for the largest share, about 90-95%, of the world's total cocoa production. Ghana is the second largest cocoa producer in the world, producing about 800,000 tons of Forastero variety consumer cocoa annually – almost 20% of the global crop.
Fine cocoa bean and one of the three main cocoa bean varieties. Criollo is the rarest, most disease-prone and therefore most expensive of the three varieties Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario. It grows in milder climates in South America and requires very fertile soil. The beans are very aromatic and have a low acid content, which is an advantage in the production of fine chocolate products.
Deforestation is the conversion of forest areas to other forms of land use or for timber production. The existing forest ecosystem is replaced by another ecosystem that is not typical for the site.
As a member of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI), we work with other industry partners to stop deforestation for cocoa production. To address this challenge, we have developed and published a "No-Deforestation and Agroforestry Action Plan" for all countries from which we source cocoa beans from. No-Deforestation & Agroforestry Action Plans are an integral part of our Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program.
In addition to proper fermentation, careful drying of the cocoa beans is important for good chocolate. The best results are achieved by natural sun drying. Drying is done differently depending on the country of cultivation (sun, gas, fire, etc.). As the cocoa trees prefer humid areas, drying is a stressful affair for the farmers, as they always have to keep a close eye on the weather and, if necessary, protect the beans from rain. In addition, they have to turn them over so that the beans can dry evenly. If they are dried incorrectly, the cocoa beans are damaged and unpleasant aromas develop. Depending on the variety and climatic conditions, drying takes 3 to 8 days. At the end of drying, the moisture content should not exceed 6.5%. If it is higher, the beans start to mold during transport.
- Earthworm Foundation:
The Earthworm Foundation (formerly the Forest Trust) is a global non-profit organization that supports companies in building responsible supply chains. The Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program is externally verified by the Earthworm Foundation.
A verification system, in the form of a structured annual internal and independent external evaluation, ensures the effectiveness of the various activities. Verification is based on a mutual learning process and transparent communication that enables continuous improvement of the Farming Program.
- Farming Program:
High-quality cocoa beans are the heart of our chocolates. At Lindt & Sprüngli, we take on responsibility from the selection of cocoa beans to the production of the finished chocolate products - from "bean to bar". That is why Lindt & Sprüngli has established its own sustainability program for cocoa beans: the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program.
In the countries of origin, cocoa production faces deep-rooted challenges. Small farms, old and diseased cocoa trees and limited agricultural practices can lead to low yields and insufficient income for farmers and their families. Poor infrastructure and lack of access to farming equipment further complicate production. Finally, environmental challenges such as climate change and deforestation are also crucial issues.
It is our priority to address these hurdles and take on responsibility for sustainable cocoa farming.
For this reason, we launched the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program in Ghana in 2008 and in the following years in all other countries of origin of our cocoa beans (Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Madagascar, and Papua New Guinea) to improve the livelihoods of our cocoa farmers, their families and village communities. One of our top priorities is to ensure that they can benefit directly from our financial support.
Process through which the flavors of the cocoa beans unfold. Fermentation is a natural process used after harvesting in the country of origin. During this process, the sugar in raw cocoa beans is converted into alcohol, which eliminates germs and develops the necessary elements that change the composition of the beans so that the characteristic taste and aroma of the chocolate develop during roasting.
- Fine cocoa:
The varieties Criollo and Trinitario are usually called "fine or flavor cocoa". They are more valuable than the consumer cocoa Forastero, as they are less productive and more susceptible to pests but have a much more complex and interesting taste. Fine flavored cocoa is a high-quality cocoa with nuanced, subtle flavors. It is mainly grown in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, fine flavored cocoa varieties account for only about 5% of the world's cocoa production.
One of the three main cocoa bean varieties. It is the most widely grown cocoa variety and accounts for 90-95% of the world's harvest. It has a high productivity and is resistant to diseases. Ghana is the second largest cocoa producer in the world, producing about 800,000 tons of cocoa of the Forastero variety annually – almost 20% of the world's harvest. Cocoa from Ghana is known for its high quality because of its higher fat content and low breakage. Forastero is also known as consumer cocoa.
- Ghana Cocoa Board:
Authority in Ghana that regulates the cocoa sector. The main objective of the Ghana Cocoa Board is to promote the cultivation, processing and marketing of cocoa, coffee, and shea nut. The Board is also responsible for the trade (buying and selling) of these commodities. The Ghana Cocoa Board also sets the purchase price for cocoa in Ghana. By setting the price, the farmers are protected from the fluctuating prices on the world market.
- Lindt Cocoa Foundation:
The Lindt Cocoa Foundation was established in 2013 with the stated purpose of promoting social and environmental sustainability in the cultivation, production and processing of cocoa and other raw materials for chocolate production. The Lindt Cocoa Foundation complements the Lindt & Sprüngli Group's existing efforts to improve the living and working conditions of farmers in the countries of origin of the raw materials and co-finances certain elements within the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program. The projects ensure that raw materials are sourced in a way that works more effectively towards sustainable agricultural development.
- Living-Income Differential (LID):
At the beginning of July 2019, the governments of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana announced the introduction of a new pricing mechanism that provides for a price premium (differential) of 400 US dollars per ton of raw cocoa to benefit cocoa producers. This is to be paid in addition to the prevailing cocoa market price. This differential is intended to enable cocoa producers in both countries to obtain a better cocoa price.
Nacional cocoa grows only in Ecuador and is often counted as the fourth cocoa variety, but actually belongs to the Forastero variety. Its special position is related to its distinctive aroma.
The cocoa tree is very demanding when it comes to climatic conditions. It only grows in countries in the latitudes between 20 degrees north and 20 degrees south of the equator - the so-called cocoa belt. Cocoa trees tolerate relatively high temperatures with a maximum annual average of 30 to 32 degrees Celsius and a minimum average of 18 to 21 degrees Celsius.
Lindt & Sprüngli sources its high-quality cocoa beans from the world's best-known cocoa origins, such as Ghana, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Madagascar, and Papua New Guinea.
- Price / In-Kind Premium:
Lindt & Sprüngli pays market prices per ton to suppliers, plus a so-called "differential", which depends on the country of origin and the cocoa variety (see also Living-Income Differential (LID)). In addition, we pay a price premium per ton of cocoa into our own sustainability program Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program and invest further with our Lindt Cocoa Foundation.
It is important to us that our farmers benefit directly from these services and that we thus sustainably improve their living conditions and those of the village communities. The premium can be paid out directly or the cocoa farmers can benefit from it in the form of products (e.g. work clothes, tools) or services (e.g. tree pruning service). Depending on the country and the wishes/needs of the farmers, this in-kind premium is adapted.
The production of chocolate is a complex process. It begins in the country of cultivation, where the cocoa is harvested, fermented, and dried. The chocolate maker crushes the beans, roasts, and mixes them with the ingredients – which vary according to the chocolate shop recipe – and grinds the mass very finely. Finally, the chocolate mass is conched and further processed with various ingredients.
Mass surrounding the cocoa beans. The pulp of the fruit is pale lavender in color and slippery in texture. It is edible and tastes sweet and fresh. The taste is described as vaguely lemony.
- Sustainability Plan:
The Lindt & Sprüngli Sustainability Plan forms the strategy for the sustainability area of the Lindt & Sprüngli Group. With the Sustainability Plan, we focus on areas that have the greatest relevance for our stakeholders and the greatest impact on the environment, society and the economy. Our intentions are to promote successful collaboration within the company, to improve the livelihoods of our suppliers in the countries of origin, to contribute to an intact environment and to delight our consumers. These four key intentions form the framework of the Lindt & Sprüngli Sustainability Plan.
Traceability makes it possible to trace cocoa beans back to their place of origin. This is a prerequisite for Lindt & Sprüngli to take on responsibility for sustainable cocoa cultivation in the countries of origin. For cocoa beans, Lindt & Sprüngli follows the "identity preserved" traceability approach. This highest level of traceability guarantees that the cocoa beans from the Farming Program are always physically processed and transported separately from all other beans and can be traced back to their origin.
Lindt & Sprüngli cocoa beans are 100% traceable and externally verified since 2020.
Fine cocoa beans and one of the three main cocoa bean varieties. A hybrid of the Criollo and Forastero varieties. Named after Trinidad, its place of origin. Grows in South America, on various Caribbean islands and few other places.
The Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program is verified through an external third party, the Earthworm Foundation.
A verification system in the form of a structured annual internal and independent external evaluation ensures the effectiveness of the various activities. Verification is based on a mutual learning process and transparent communication that enables continuous improvement of the Farming Program.
- World Cocoa Foundation:
The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is an international membership organization that promotes cocoa sustainability by helping cocoa farmers grow higher quality cocoa and strengthen their village communities.
Lindt & Sprüngli has been a member of the WCF since 2015 and regularly supports specific projects of the organization (World Cocoa Foundation).