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Nestlé USA Commits to Sourcing 100% Certified Cocoa Beans For Its Crunch Bars

Image credit: Nestlé

Socially conscious Nestlé® Crunch® lovers can soon enjoy their favorite chocolate bar even more. At the National Confectioners Association’s Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago today, Nestlé USA announced that it will source 100% certified, Nestlé Cocoa Plan cocoa beans for the entire line of Nestlé Crunch bars. The Nestlé Cocoa Plan is the company’s global initiative to help improve the lives of cocoa farmers and the quality of their products while also assuring a sustainable cocoa supply for years to come.

By the end of 2013, Nestlé USA will purchase enough certified Nestlé Cocoa Plan beans to produce the entire line of everyday Nestlé Crunch bars, the company’s 75-year-old flagship confections brand. The beans will be certified by UTZ Certified, an independent organization focused on developing sustainable farming and better opportunities for farmers and their families.

The distinction will be showcased on the bars' packaging later this summer by featuring the seal of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, along with expanded messaging on the back panel. Nestlé says there will be no increase in price to retailers and no change to the candy bar’s flavor.

“Recent surveys have shown that a growing number of consumers are seeking foods made with responsibly sourced ingredients,” said Robert Kilmer, President of Confections & Snacks for Nestlé USA. “Actions taken under the Nestlé Cocoa Plan help socially aware consumers feel good about benefitting people and communities in other parts of the world.”

Nestlé USA also announced today a commitment to increase the quantity of Nestlé Cocoa Plan beans purchased each year for its U.S. confections brands. The company’s ultimate goal is to produce its entire confectionery line with Nestlé Cocoa Plan cocoa.

At current growth rates, the supply of cocoa will not be able to keep up with increased global demand. Worldwide cocoa consumption is increasing each year and cocoa farmers are struggling to produce more cocoa from the same land. The Nestlé Cocoa Plan, first launched globally in 2009, is a $120-million effort to help improve cocoa sustainability and the livelihoods of cocoa farmers through a number of innovative social and economic programs. This includes providing education and training to thousands of farmers and their families; distributing millions of higher-yielding plants; improving infrastructure in farming communities, building or refurbishing schools, and eliminating the use of child labor in the cocoa supply chain.

In addition to the U.S., the Nestlé Cocoa Plan has been adopted in several other major Nestlé markets including the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ecuador.

This is the latest in a string of initiatives that Nestlé has undertaken in the interest of increasing the sustainability of its operations and supply chain — in March, the company published 30 social and environmental goals focused on countering the global nutrition crisis and environmental decline, to be achieved by or before 2020; and in an interview with Sustainable Brands last month, Anne Roulin, Nestlé’s Head of Sustainability for Research and Development, described how the company is reevaluating everything from its energy portfolio to the impact of water scarcity on its suppliers across the globe.

Jennifer Elks is Managing Editor at Sustainable Brands. She is a writer, editor and foodie who is passionate about improving food systems, closing loops and creating more livable cities. She loves cooking, wine, cooking with wine, correcting spelling errors in… [Read more about Jennifer Elks]

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