Twice as much UTZ certified cocoa was sold to producers in 2011 compared to the previous year as demand for sustainable cocoa soared in Germany, according to the recently published UTZ Certified Annual Report 2011.
UTZ Certified is a sustainability programme that seeks to improve living conditions for farmers and ensure constant supply of commodities such as cocoa and coffee.
Supply grows rapidly
A total of 42,704 metric tonnes (mt) of UTZ cocoa was sold to chocolate manufacturers and other producers last year, up 50% from 2010.
Volumes of UTZ certified cocoa also doubled to 200,000 mt as the programme added new origin countries such as Nigeria and Cameroon.
UTZ cocoa also made its way to several Asian markets for the first time, such as Japan.
The rising demand for sustainable cocoa was something felt by the World Bank last week when it acquired a stake in cocoa trader Armajaro Trading for $55m last week.
High demand in Germany
“One country where the market has been especially dynamic was Germany,” said UTZ in its report.
For example, during the year Mars launched its Balisto bar in Germany with the UTZ Certifed logo to tie-in with its commitment to use 100% certified sustainable cocoa by 2020 and an ad campaign helped to raise the public profile of UTZ.
“As a result of these first mover steps, the German chocolate and retail companies are increasingly demanding sustainable cocoa. We expect to see strong growth here in 2012,” said the report.
Guarantee supply and avoid crisis
Australian academic David Guest and chocolate ingredients supplier Blommer Chocolate Company recently warned of a looming cocoa supply crisis unless sustainability efforts were upped.
Han de Groot, executive director of UTZ certified, said that making cocoa more sustainable would require more than certification.
“This cannot be done by certification programmes alone, but needs involvement of the whole supply chain,” he said.
“We call upon coffee roaster, chocolate manufacturers and many others to join us, not only in demanding sustainable products, but also in investing in better farming practices: supporting extension services, organisation of farmers and investing in infrastructure.”
“This is needed to safeguard production now and in the future,” he concluded.