Food and Beverage Business

Nestlé introduces new KitKat made with cocoa sourced from farmer income accelerator program

Nestlé introduces new KitKat made with cocoa sourced from farmer income accelerator program Nestlé Food and Beverage Business

Nestlé has launched an innovative range of KitKat chocolate, leveraging the cocoa grown by farmers participating in its income accelerator initiative. Known as KitKat Breaks for Good, this product is being introduced in 27 European countries. The multinational company has also introduced a limited edition 70% dark chocolate, produced from cocoa sourced from the accelerator, which is currently being trialed in the UK.

Launched in 2022, Nestlé’s income accelerator program aims to “close the living income gap in cocoa-farming families and reduce child labor risk.” The program also focuses on improving agricultural practices and promoting gender equality. The cocoa mass sourced via the accelerator “adheres to one of the highest traceability standards, ensuring ‘mixed identity preserved’ traceability.”

Currently, over 10,000 families in Côte d’Ivoire have been supported by the accelerator, and it is expected to expand to Ghana this year to include some 30,000 families, with a total aim of reaching 160,000 cocoa-farming families by 2030. Nestlé has been working with various partners and suppliers to enhance its cocoa sourcing worldwide, including companies like Cargill and the Rainforest Alliance under its wider Nestlé Cocoa Plan. As part of this plan, the company aims to invest SFr1.3bn ($ between 2022 and 2030 to enhance its cocoa sourcing sustainability.

Nestlé also intends to work on using segregated cocoa butter in all KitKat chocolate in Europe by mid-2024 and endeavors to expand this adoption to other regions in the future. As part of this initiative, Nestlé’s partnership with Cargill aims to restore the environment, support families, and increase incomes. Meanwhile, the Rainforest Alliance welcomes efforts to implement innovative models for cocoa traceability and support its certified farmers.

However, a recent report released by the research group Ethical Consumer listed Nestlé as “inadequate” in its cocoa sourcing efforts. The report found that only half of Nestlé’s cocoa sourcing worldwide is certified, and the company was critiqued for its approach, particularly in the UK and Ireland. In response, Nestlé emphasized its continuous efforts to improve the sustainable sourcing of cocoa and support cocoa farmers.

Despite these challenges, it’s encouraging to see chocolate brands like Nestlé taking steps towards sustainable sourcing. Yet, the industry must collectively work towards adopting more responsible practices and increasing transparency in cocoa sourcing to improve the livelihoods of farmers.

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