Tesco has announced all the cocoa required for its own label chocolate products sold in the UK will be from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ sources by the end of 2018.
The retailer will also ensure the cocoa used in other Tesco UK products, such as biscuits, cakes, desserts and cereals, will be responsibly sourced by the same date.
The news follows a series of measures by Tesco designed to help build trusted and transparent partnerships with its suppliers and ensure more of its products are sourced sustainably.
Steps include guaranteed high value contracts for British potato growers, sustainable farming programmes for lamb farmers and producers of cheese, a Fair For Farmers Guarantee for fresh milk, and an extension of its partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council, resulting in the retailer offering 80 MSC-certified products to customers.
Tesco’s collaboration the Rainforest Alliance and other sustainability programmes will support cocoa-growing communities, help increase farmer income, safeguard soils and conserve wildlife. Customers will be able to recognise Rainforest Alliance Certified™ products by the inclusion of its frog seal on packaging.
Jason Tarry, Chief Product Officer at Tesco said:
“Our customers want to be reassured that we treat farmers and growers well and that the foods they buy are sourced responsibly.
“Our collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance will help to support cocoa farmers improve their livelihoods and ensure we are offering great sustainable and affordable products.
“This is just one of a number of initiatives which will help us build trusted partnerships with our suppliers and enable us to serve shoppers a little better every day.”
Nigel Sizer, President of the Rainforest Alliance:
“We are delighted Tesco has made such a deep commitment to sourcing Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa.
“Tesco’s commitment will have a significant impact on improving the social, economic, and environmental well-being of cocoa farming communities.”
By the end of 2018, all cocoa sourced for Tesco that goes into other products, including biscuits, cakes, desserts and cereals, will also be responsibly sourced. Cocoa will be sourced in accordance with a number of sustainability programmes including the Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Cocoa Horizons and Fairtrade.