Cargill produces UTZ-certified chocolate for Dutch market

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 16th March 2010

Agribusiness and food giant Cargill said it has produced the first UTZ Certified chocolate for the Dutch market.

The chocolate, in the form of Easter eggs, has been developed by Baronie, an Easter egg producer for the European market, the firm said today (15 March).

The eggs are now available to buy from Dutch supermarkets.

Harold Poelma, managing director of cocoa for Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, said: “We are very proud to bring the first sustainable UTZ Certified chocolate to market. It is the result of a lot of hard work on the part of our people and the cocoa farmers of Côte d’Ivoire.”

He added: “Availability is limited at the moment, but these Easter eggs are just the beginning. Production is rising and we expect to buy 10,000 tonnes of UTZ Certified cocoa beans this year, as more of the co-operatives which are part of the programme become certified. This will enable us to produce more certified chocolate and cocoa products in the years to come.”

The UTZ Certified cocoa programme was initiated in 2007 by a multi-stakeholder group which included Cargill, UTZ Certified, Dutch development organisation Solidaridad, Heinz Benelux, Ahold, Mars, Nestlé, Ecom, WWF and Oxfam Novib.

The members have developed a code of conduct that forms the basis for the certification of cocoa co-operatives. The programme is now working to scale up its activities in Côte d’Ivoire and to explore opportunities to expand into other markets, Cargill said.

Poelma continued: “We are totally committed to sustainable farming practices. We believe that training farmers is the key to building a sustainable supply chain, helping increase farmers’ incomes, realising future growth of cocoa farming, and supporting the cocoa communities. We want to make cocoa farmers successful for generations to come.”

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