Traceability and verification

Our traceability approach

Since the introduction of our Farming Program in 2008, physical traceability of cocoa has been the starting point of our responsible cocoa supply chain. Traceability is a key principle of our cocoa sourcing strategy. To establish traceability from farm to first point of purchase, all farmers are registered, farm GPS point coordinates are taken, and baseline data about the farm and household is collected. We aim to achieve first mile traceability for 100% of cocoa products – beans, butter, powder, and chocolate mass – by 2025.

Traceability

For cocoa beans, Lindt & Sprüngli follows the "identity preserved" traceability approach. This highest level of traceability guarantees that the cocoa beans from the Farming Program are always physically processed and transported separately from all other beans and can be traced back to their origin. Each delivery of cocoa beans to Lindt & Sprüngli is accompanied by a traceability certificate to ensure that we purchase cocoa beans from farmers who are part of the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program.

For our responsibly sourced cocoa butter, we aim for a physical traceability approach based on segregation: Conventional and sustainable cocoa are strictly separated and the origin of delivered butter batches are known when delivered to Lindt & Sprüngli. For further information on traceability of our cocoa butter and cocoa powder, please see page 53 of our 2023 Sustainability Report.

Verification

Our Farming Program builds on the principle of continuous improvement. Our monitoring and evaluation approach is based on multiple elements such as the monitoring of outputs, a review of the Program quality and verification of the Program implementation, and periodic impact assessments. We assess these elements related to both the farm and implementation partner, and carry out checks to verify traceability documents.

Our cocoa sourcing under our Farming Program and other sustainability programs is subject to external verification annually by an independent third party. For cocoa beans, external verification is conducted by the Earthworm Foundation, based on the Farming Program External Assessment Methodology. This enables a mutual learning process and direct engagement of Earthworm Foundation with farmers through individual meetings and focus groups to gather feedback on the support provided as part of the Program.

For cocoa butter, we are currently in the process of transitioning different sustainability programs to Rainforest Alliance certification. Where long-term agreements are in place and our Program is being implemented, certification is not intended to replace our Program, but serves as a basis and external verification scheme.

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