Italian supermarket chain Esselunga has pledged to use 100% guaranteed fair trade cocoa across its private label range by 2025.
The aim of the initiative is to ensure the traceability of cocoa beans utilising blockchain technology, from the harvest field to the finished product, guaranteeing quality and transparency for its customers and supporting the communities involved in cocoa cultivation.
'Sustainable Cocoa' Project
With the 'Sustainable Cocoa' project, Esselunga has set itself the dual objective of purchasing sustainable cocoa from cocoa cooperatives in various countries, including Togo, in order to guarantee fair economic and social treatment for farmers, while at the same time financing livelihood projects based on the needs of the local farming communities.
In terms of the development of the project, Esselunga collaborated with groups such as Altromercato, the main Fair Trade organisation in Italy, and Gebana, its partner in Togo that works directly with the farmers.
Funding Local Initaitives
By donating their loyalty points, Esselunga’s customers have enabled the retailer to collect €560,000, on top of another €575,000 allocated by the company, amounting to a total investment of €1.13 million over five years, to fund livelihood projects for local communities.
These donations will enable the improvement of crop yields, crop diversification to generate alternative sources of income, the development and organisation of the post-harvest phases of cocoa to improve its quality, as well as the optimisation of crop management and payments to farmers.
Earlier this month, the Italian retailer pledged to plant three million trees by the end of the decade, as part of its sustainability targets.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine