Swiss chocolatiers vow to make industry more sustainable

Swiss chocolatiers vow to make industry more sustainable
Chocolate truffles for sale in Zurich. Photo: Richard A. Brooks/AFP
Switzerland's chocolate-makers on Wednesday launched a new initiative aiming to improve conditions for workers in the industry and make Swiss chocolate more sustainable.

The newly launched Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa aims to tackle problems such as child labour and poor working conditions in cocoa-producing companies, while making the final product more environmentally-friendly.  

By 2025, at least 80 percent of imported cocoa products should have been sustainably produced, said industry group Chocosuisse which announced the initiative together with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and several NGOs and research institutes.

Representatives from all these groups will make up the Cocoa Platform, an independent association which will be formally created in January 2018. 

It will work to strengthen ties between Switzerland's chocolate companies and manufacturers in other countries, as well as issuing guidelines on environmental and production issues.

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Another key goal is the creation of expert groups on biodiversity, climate resilience, traceability of cocoa butter and other issues affecting the sustainability – and of course, the taste – of Swiss chocolate.
In addition, the group will offer support to organizations in countries where cocoa is produced, including encouraging them to “improve the cocoa farmers' and their families' situation”.

The Swiss chocolate industry – one of the most important economic sectors in the small country – wants to continue its “pioneering role”, the groups said, and hopes to set an example for other industries.

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