As one of the few global chocolate manufacturers, Lindt & Sprüngli produces chocolate products from “bean to bar”. It all starts with purchasing cocoa beans through our own sustainability program, the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, continues with producing the cocoa mass in our own production facilities, and extends to processing the chocolate and ultimately marketing and distributing the quality products. After achieving our target of sourcing 100% of our cocoa beans through the Farming Program in 2020, we extended the Farming Program to include sustainable sourcing of cocoa butter in 2021. In 2022, we were also able to purchase a small amount of cocoa powder through the Farming Program for the first time. The cocoa used is decisive for the quality and taste of the chocolate, which is why Lindt & Sprüngli has such high standards for raw materials used and processing start as early as with the cocoa.
An exception is our subsidiary Russell Stover which buys chocolate and chocolate products.
Visit this page to find out more about the steps in Lindt & Sprüngli’s chocolate production.
The Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program was launched in 2008 in Ghana. We have since expanded it to all six of our cocoa bean sourcing origins: Ghana, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, and Peru. With the extension of the Program to cocoa butter in 2021, the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program now includes Côte d’Ivoire for the first time. In 2022, the Program was further expanded to cocoa powder. By 2025, all cocoa products (beans, butter, powder, and chocolate mass) are to be sourced through sustainability programs.
Through the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, we aim to contribute to creating decent and resilient livelihoods for cocoa farmers and their families and to encourage more sustainable farming practices. Our Farming Program is based on an overarching Theory of Change that outlines our intervention logic, including the activities and the desired outcomes and impact (see more in our Theory of Change). The Program enables us to trace cocoa beans back to their origin (according to traceability standard “identify preserved”) and support farmers and their communities according to their specific needs.
The four pillars of the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program are:
- Tracing our beans
- Training the farmers
- Investments for farmers and their communities
- Independently verifying our Program
In 2022, we invested a total of CHF 27.5 million in cocoa sustainability, of which CHF 26.5 million was paid to cocoa suppliers for operating cocoa sustainability programs, mainly our Farming Program.
Yes. Our own sustainability program for cocoa, the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, is in place in all countries we source cocoa beans from (Ghana, Ecuador, Madagascar, Dominican Republic, Papua New Guinea, and Peru). With the extension of the Program to cocoa butter in 2021, the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program now includes Côte d’Ivoire for the first time.
Currently, the following Lindt & Sprüngli brands use cocoa beans sourced through our sustainability program, the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program: Lindt, Caffarel, Ghirardelli, Küfferle and Hofbauer.
Our main cocoa commitment: By 2025, 100% of cocoa products (beans, butter, powder, and chocolate mass) will be sourced through sustainability programs.
An important milestone was already reached: Since 2020, 100% of our cocoa beans have been sourced through sustainability programs. In 2022, a total of 67% of cocoa bean equivalents (beans, butter, powder, and chocolate mass) were sourced through sustainability programs.
Cocoa beans are the heart of our chocolates. Knowing which of the many different origins of cocoa beans will best contribute to the distinctive taste of a product is a skill that we have perfected over time.
A fundamental distinction is made between consumer and fine flavor cocoa. Consumer cocoa is cocoa with a robust flavor. It accounts for the largest share (90-95%) of total global cocoa production and is farmed mainly in West Africa. Lindt & Sprüngli uses Forastero beans (consumer cocoa), exclusively from Ghana.
The remaining 5-10% of worldwide cocoa harvests are fine flavor cocoa. Fine flavor cocoa is a high-quality cocoa with nuanced, fine aroma. It is mainly farmed in Latin America and the Caribbean. Lindt & Sprüngli uses fine flavor cocoa beans (Criollo and Trinitario) from Ecuador, Madagascar, Dominican Republic, Papua New Guinea and Peru.
Our own sustainability program, the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, is in place in all countries we source cocoa beans from.
Since 2020, 100% of our cocoa beans have been sourced through sustainability programs.
For us the physical traceability of cocoa is a key requirement to achieve sustainability.
Regarding our cocoa beans, traceability begins on the cocoa farm and does not end until the beans reach our production sites. We select only cocoa beans from countries and farmers which are part of our own sustainability program – the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program. 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. The traceability of our cocoa bean supply chain is the key foundation of our Program for improving living conditions in the growing countries in the long term. As a bean to bar manufacturer, we have built up extensive expertise, in areas ranging from the selection of high-quality beans and technological know-how in the processing of our own cocoa mass to chocolate production at our own factories. This is a differentiating feature that still distinguishes us as a premium manufacturer today.
We are proud that since 2020, 100% of our cocoa beans have been sourced through sustainability programs.
For our responsibly sourced cocoa butter, we follow 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. In the segregation model, beans delivered by the Lindt & Sprüngli farmer groups to the suppliers get mixed, at supplier level, with other beans originating from farmer groups who also have a sustainability program in place. This means that while all the cocoa butter delivered to Lindt & Sprüngli from a sustainability program under the segregation model originates from sustainable sources, we are not guaranteed that the cocoa beans delivered by our own farmer groups to the suppliers will end up in the cocoa butter we purchase.
Our Farming Program builds on a philosophy of continuous improvement.
Our monitoring approach begins with systematic annual internal monitoring of all cocoa farmers to evaluate their progress in social, ecological, agricultural, and economic practices.
For cocoa beans, external verification is conducted by the Earthworm Foundation. This enables a mutual learning process. It gives recommendations to improve and further develop the Farming Program. For cocoa butter, we currently have different third-party verification programs in place, including certification.
The combination of internal monitoring of farmers’ practices with external verifications of the Program represents a kind of joint review. This makes it possible to monitor the quality of Farming Program implementation and its outputs and outcomes at the farm level and also at the implementation partners.
There are many ways to be engaged in sustainable and responsible cocoa sourcing practices. This can include introducing responsible purchasing practices, buying certified raw materials, or implementing individual projects. We believe the key to a more sustainable food sector is to combine different approaches. The basis of our engagement are responsible purchasing practices. This means that we have long-term partnerships with our suppliers, which allows us to work with a stable farmer base over many years. Second, it is important to have a sustainability program (own or certification), which covers 100% of our raw materials, not just a small part.
Since 2020, 100% of our cocoa beans have been sourced through sustainability programs and are working towards our goal, to source all cocoa products (beans, butter, powder, and chocolate mass) through sustainability programs by 2025.
Lindt & Sprüngli shares the goals of the industry, governmental and non-governmental organizations (such as World Cocoa Foundation, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, etc.) for sustainable cocoa production. We appreciate their contributions to improving living and working conditions, introducing better farming practices, fostering biodiversity and eliminating the worst types of child labor. Where appropriate and possible, we collaborate with them as partners.
Nevertheless, by deploying our own sustainability program, , the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, we are able to:
- Pursue long-term supplier partnerships and a stable farmer base which enable us to allocate funds transparently, aiming for direct impact on the ground and facilitating access to high-quality beans for our premium chocolate products.
- Establish traceable and transparent supply chains as a basis for a responsible sourcing model.
- Adapt the Farming Program to the local context and address the needs of farmers and their communities in a particular region, while keeping a global Farming Program standard.
- Apply our model to the entire cocoa supply and not single products or product groups.
An exception is Russell Stover, which buys chocolate as well as chocolate products and includes Fairtrade certified products (Russell Stover Joy Bites).
We publish our progress annually. All of 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. The results are transparently communicated and published on the Earthworm Website. For cocoa butter, we currently have different third-party verification programs in place, including certification. For selected country of origins, we mandate credible research organizations to survey the farmers and assess the impact of our Program on the farmers, their families and communities.
We print the logo of the Farming Program on many of our products (except white chocolate products) and are integrating this continuously.
The cocoa sector faces a multitude of challenges related to human rights and environmental protection, such as child labor, deforestation, and persistent low incomes and poverty among cocoa farmers. We are committed to advancing effective solutions and strengthening our own contributions to address these issues and by partnering with relevant stakeholders.
Through the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, we aim to create decent and resilient livelihoods for cocoa farmers and their families and to encourage more sustainable farming practices. The three main outcomes include increasing the resilience of farming households, reducing the risk of child labor, and conserving biodiversity and natural ecosystems.
We take a holistic approach to increasing farming household incomes. We are addressing this through a combination of measures, with the aim of improving the income situation overall, being aware that poverty among cocoa households is one of the underlying root causes of the cocoa sector’s sustainability challenges. Such measures include, for example, increasing cocoa productivity and profitability, farmer premiums, income diversification, access to finance, community development and infrastructure investments, and women’s empowerment.
In 2022, we invested CHF 27.5 million in cocoa sustainability programs and 112,803 farmers in seven origin countries benefited from the Farming Program.
We recognize that the price of cocoa is an important element to a sustainable cocoa sector.
In 2022, we invested a total of CHF 27.5 million in cocoa sustainability, of which CHF 26.5 million was paid to cocoa suppliers for operating cocoa sustainability programs (mainly our Farming Program). These investments are made in addition to the market price and the Living Income Differential (LID) of USD 400 per ton, which was introduced by the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The farmgate price, i.e., the price a farmer receives for the cocoa, is determined either by the local market price or in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire by the government.
We also support the efforts of the governments in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire to improve livelihoods of cocoa farmers with the Living Income Differential (LID). We have purchased cocoa with LID pricing and will continue to do so.
At Lindt & Sprüngli, tackling child labor is a priority and we are firmly committed to minimizing, remediating and whenever possible avoiding it in our cocoa supply chain. Lindt & Sprüngli strongly condemns all forms of child labor.
By improving the livelihoods of farmers and their communities, the risk of child labor can be reduced. This is why the goal of our sustainability program for cocoa beans, the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, is to improve farmers’ livelihoods. Further, with the focus on traceability and verification within our Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, we are able to identify potential cases of child labor and remediate them.
As part of the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, we have defined clear guidelines and an action plan on combatting child labor, which are published on our website and described in detail in our annually published Sustainability Report. Our Community Child Protection System (CCPS) is a community-based approach that focuses on the close collaboration with community members and public institutions, provides holistic preventive measures and covers main salient children’s rights to secure an environment conducive to the children’s protection. The system is implemented through monitoring, awareness and resilience building for farmers, workers, their households and community members. Through this system, we are not reinventing the wheel, but reorienting our approach and reorganizing our interventions to more effectively take into account the protection of children's rights in our supply communities.
Child labor is a persistent and highly complex problem that requires intensive, continuous and concerted efforts by all stakeholders involved in the cocoa sector to combat. To strengthen our collective action on child labor prevention, we joined the Child Learning and Education Facility (CLEF), a partnership between the Ivorian government, cocoa and chocolate industry companies, and philanthropic partners aiming to tackle the root causes of child labor and improve the quality of education through a systemic approach in Côte d’Ivoire. Joining CLEF includes a financial commitment to invest 1.25 million CHF into the initiative.
Lindt & Sprüngli monitors its chocolate through extensive laboratory testing of cocoa beans to detect possible residues of more than 570 different types of pesticides. Through the training provided as part of the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, we promote improved farming practices that reduce the need for pesticides in cocoa production and control pests using natural methods. Additionally, farmers are educated about the correct application of inputs. As part of the farmer investments, farmers receive solely organic inputs for their cocoa plantations.
Cocoa cultivation has a high risk of biodiversity loss through deforestation or harmful farming practices. We acknowledge our responsibility to contribute to preventing cocoa-driven deforestation.
Our aim is for 100% of sourced cocoa to be free from deforestation and covered by our Cocoa No-Deforestation & Agroforestry Action Plan by 2025.This is an integral part of our Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program.
Adapted to the respective local context, our activities through the Farming Program to prevent deforestation in our cocoa supply chain include:
- Traceability and farm mapping
- Farmer registration and legality checks
- Holistic farm development plans
Additionally, we support agroforestry systems for cocoa and forest conservation and restoration.
For more Information, our “No-Deforestation & Agroforestry Action Plan” and annual progress can be found here.
Lindt & Sprüngli has analyzed the scope of its procurement of raw materials and set responsible sourcing targets for twelve priority raw materials (including cocoa). More information can be found in our Sustainability Report.
In 2022, we invested a total of CHF 27.5 million in cocoa sustainability, of which CHF 26.5 million was paid to cocoa suppliers for operating cocoa sustainability programs, mainly our Farming Program. Sustainability program costs include operations costs for staff, equipment, farm investments, community development and volume based cash- and in-kind premiums for farmers and farmer groups. These investments are made in addition to the market price and the Living Income Differential (LID) of USD 400 per ton, which was introduced by the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The Lindt Cocoa Foundation contributes an additional CHF 2–3 million annually in investments for farmers and communities in line with ists mission to achieve social and ecological sustainability in the cultivation and processing of cocoa products used in chocolate production. In one supply chain in Ghana, the Farming Program is additionally co-funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Switzerland (SECO) with CHF 200,000 in the reporting year (SECO fact sheet). In Papua New Guinea, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) co-funded the Farming Program training of 500 female farmers with a total contribution of USD 320,000 in 2022.
We also invest in other third-party projects beyond our Farming Program.
Our total greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3) reached 3.73 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2022. Our footprint was externally audited by a third party and achieved limited assurance. Emissions from our value chain (Scope 3) represent about 95% of our carbon footprint: cocoa (including the impacts from land use change such as deforestation), other raw materials (such as dairy), transport, and packaging being the biggest contributors.