Magnum is our biggest ice cream brand. It is sold in over 50 countries, more than half of which use Rainforest Alliance (RA) certified cocoa (across Europe, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand). Achieving 70% by 2013, we are making good progress towards our 2015 target.
RA is an international, non-profit, conservation organisation that works in a number of areas, including sustainable cocoa farming. We are working with the organisation to ensure that the farmers in the cocoa supply chain for our Magnum ice cream can achieve the standards that RA certification requires and that we can achieve our sustainable sourcing targets.
On pack and online, Magnum shares with its consumers why it has teamed up with RA: to source high-quality cocoa beans, to increase the income of farmers and to deliver social benefits such as improved health and safety practices.RA certifies cocoa according to the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) standards. These standards cover ecosystem conservation, worker rights (including the prohibition of child labour) and safety, wildlife protection, water and soil conservation, agrochemical reduction, decent housing, and legal wages and contracts for workers.
As well as increasing the availability of sustainably produced cocoa, we are keen to work with RA to assess the impact that more sustainable practices have in areas ranging from health and education, women’s empowerment and family welfare, to farm performance and environmental protection. We will review these impacts regularly as we move towards our targets.
The main countries we source our cocoa from are the Ivory Coast and Ghana.
Working with suppliers
In 2012 we signed a long-term partnership agreement with Barry Callebaut, a supplier of high-quality cocoa products. The company has become our strategic global supplier and innovation partner-of-choice for our cocoa and chocolate needs.
The partnership created a step change in our ability to source sustainable cocoa and over time we expect the company to supply up to 70% of our cocoa and chocolate products. This will be achieved under a wide-ranging, joint, business development plan involving close cooperation across the areas of innovation, sustainable sourcing, capacity expansion and value improvement. Barry Callebaut will invest approximately €18 million in its worldwide factory network in order to prepare the capacity needed to fulfil the long-term partnership agreement.
To achieve RA certification, our suppliers are working with 20,000 small farmers across West Africa. Barry Callebaut runs Farmer Field Schools to train cocoa farmers in increasing the productivity of their farms and improving the quality of their cocoa. The trainers are external experts specialised in cocoa production. We pay the farmers a premium for cocoa beans that are certified sustainable. Farmers who have been trained in turn train other farmers in the co-operative and encourage more farmers to follow the programme.
Innovative harvesting process technique
At the Lomana cocoa co-operative, 160 of the co-op’s 200 farmers use Barry Callebaut's controlled fermentation harvesting process – an innovative technique applied after the harvest and during the initial critical fermentation stage. The co-op includes eight women – highly unusual in Côte d’Ivoire, where agriculture is traditionally dominated by male farmers.
Through the process, the farmers learn how to achieve consistent good quality and flavour, ensuring they receive a better price for their cocoa beans. By using these newly acquired skills, farmers can earn an additional 40 West African CFA francs (US $0.08) per bag.
Barry Callebaut’s harvesting process helps to improve the quality of the cocoa beans. It also ensures that cocoa remains a viable crop for farmers and in turn maintains a secure supply from Barry Callebaut to Unilever.
We provide funding to SourceTrust to pave the way for long-term sustainable cocoa production, whilst enhancing farmers’ businesses. SourceTrust works across the cocoa farming communities in our supply chain, delivering training facilities for use by farmers and their families, so they can learn new harvesting processing techniques.