CAOBISCO – which represents over 13,000 European chocolate, biscuits and confectionery manufacturing companies – launched the initiative to uphold the gold standard of excellence it has developed over the past 60 years, a target that today goes hand in hand with an ethical and sustainable supply chain.
Especially in light of a recent online survey that found there is a significant relationship between overall mindful eating and mental wellbeing among consumers.
Integral part of our heritage
“Taking a moment to enjoy a treat is important to our individual and collective wellbeing and is an integral part of our European culinary heritage,” said Mary Barnard, president of CAOBISCO.
“Providing treats that are responsibly produced and mindfully enjoyed is the philosophy that drives our industry. Highlighting this engagement is what the Treatwell initiative is all about.”
In practice, this means calling on its members to focus on those areas in which they can make the greatest impact – being it promoting sustainable agriculture, preventing deforestation, sourcing sustainable raw materials and empowering farmers to become more productive and climate smart.
These can be tackled by, for instance, by producers reducing CO2 emissions from factories, offices, warehouses and fleets; and reducing waste by applying eco-design policies and changing to packaging that is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable.
On the farm level, it includes educating farmers to leverage new skills – such as grafting, new planting, pruning and weeding – and limiting the use of fertilisers and pesticides.
It also involves supporting women with training, income diversification and community leadership opportunities; and focusing on the importance of diversity, human rights and the inclusion of people of different working generations and cultures.
The association then wants the message to filter down to consumer level to promote positive nutrition and mindful eating on all occasions. Already, Mondelēz’s Mindful Snacking Insights report found that, globally, health and wellbeing benefits play a major role in almost half of all snacking occasions.
Celebrating our diversity
“Our products are recognised as the gold standard for excellence globally, and our industry allows Europe to maintain its tradition of skilled and creative confectionery making, celebrating the diversity of our products and cultures,” said Marina Valverde, secretary general of CAOBISCO.
“With over 400 000 direct employees and an annual turnover of almost €70 billion ($77bn), the 60th anniversary of the founding of CAOBISCO is the right moment to recognise and celebrate the vital and positive contribution of our industry.”
- In 2018, the German confectionery industry exported €8.2bn worth of products, specifically to the US, Switzerland, Russia, Canada and Australia.
- Italy exported €1.7bn of chocolate products in 2018.
- In France, 50% of people have a childhood memory that is attached to a biscuit or a cake.
- The origin of the modern biscuit can be traced back to the 14th century, where hard, dry baked pieces of dough were sold on the streets of Paris. It was the Dutch who began to make the biscuits we know today, known as ‘koekje’ (small cakes).