Zurich company to help increase Unilever’s sustainability efforts
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Barry Callebaut and Unilever Monday 23 January signed a long-term partnership agreement that will double the cocoa and chocolate the Swiss-based company delivers to the Dutch-based consumer goods and foods producer. Barry Callebaut will invest CHF22 million under the terms of the agreement to ramp up to “provide 70 percent of Unilever’s global cocoa and chocolate products”.
Unilver is looking to ice cream products in particular to double sales while reducing environmental impact. The Zurich chocolate company has already helped build sales significantly with the Magnum ice cream line. Unilever has come under pressure, along with other multinationals, for its use of chocolate that is not certified Fair Trade. The company notes on its web site that “cocoa accounts for 4 percent of our total volume of agricultural raw materials. We buy 1 percent of global production, 95 percent of which is used in our ice cream, including in our biggest global ice cream brand Magnum and in Ben & Jerry’s.”
Monday’s press release from Barry Callebaut about the new partnership terms notes that “Barry Callebaut has also been working closely with Unilever to meet its sustainable cocoa sourcing commitments.”
CNN Friday 20 January ran a major investigative news background story on child labour in the cocoa industry, which has resulted in some calls for boycotting chocolate. As part of the network’s series, it contacted the chocolate industry for companies’ responses.
The Zurich company has been addressing the issue for some time and has considerable consumer information on the industry-wide problem.
Details of the deal were not revealed.