EC | Why deforestation-free cocoa and palm oil are so elusive

Food companies have made bold public commitments to “sustainable” sourcing of their raw material inputs such as cocoa and palm oil, commodities that are closely linked to deforestation. However, achieving this admirable goal at scale has proven to be extraordinarily challenging. For example, Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest chocolate maker, promises that “by 2025 we will have 100% sustainable ingredients in all our products”.

So far, the company considers 36% of cocoa and 30% of other ingredients to be sourced sustainably, but given the approach used by certifiers and the continued extreme poverty of most producers, how much of this is really sustainable might be questionable.

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