Nestlé Australia Ltd announced today that it aims to produce its entire Kit Kat range using UTZ CERTIFIED cocoa in 2011.
Kit Kat Four Finger is the first batch of sustainable Kit Kats to be manufactured using UTZ CERTIFIED cocoa from Africa’s Ivory Coast and is already on supermarket shelves, marking the iconic chocolate bar’s 75th birthday.
Andrew McIver, Business Executive Manager – Confectionery, Nestlé Australia Ltd, said the company had committed to switching the Kit Kat range to UTZ CERTIFIED cocoa during next year, but exact timings ultimately depended on enough certified cocoa being available to satisfy production.
“Nestlé is very committed to making this happen and we’ve taken an important first step with the Kit Kat Four Finger,” Mr McIver said.
Today’s announcement by Nestlé Australia Ltd strengthens its commitment to sustainable sourcing and follows the launch of the Nestlé global $117 million Cocoa Plan which aims to provide a better life for cocoa farmers, their families and communities.
Mr McIver said the announcement was a fitting way to celebrate the brand’s milestone and at the same time set Nestlé’s course for the next 75 years and beyond.
“Nestlé’s Cocoa Plan is about looking ahead, to the future of cocoa farming,” Mr McIver said.
“It is about putting in place a sustainable cocoa tree program supported with education and training and that improves the lives of people in cocoa-farming communities for generations to come.
Mr McIver saw first-hand the economic, social and environmental challenges facing Ivory Coast farmers and their families during a recent visit to one of the world’s largest cocoa growing regions.
“The cocoa sector faces challenges like poor soil fertility management, aging tree stocks, improper use of chemicals, low farmer income and poor labour practices. At the same time consumers are increasingly aware of these challenges and demand products that are grown in a sustainable way.”
“We believe certification is a critical component to our overall approach. It provides the framework to reward farmers and their organisations for producing cocoa in a sustainable manner, and certification also gives our consumers added assurance that the cocoa was produced under proper conditions,” Mr McIver said.
Part of Nestlé’s broader Cocoa Plan is to improve the quantity and quality of yields by providing 12 million stronger productive plantlets. While not a quick fix for the challenging cocoa situation, it is an important and significant part of the effort to improve the cocoa supply chain and the lives of farmers and communities in the long-term.
In working with partner organisations, such as the International Cocoa Initiative and the World Cocoa Foundation, Nestlé also aims to address issues such as child labour and poor access to healthcare and education.
Angela Tejada Chavez, UTZ CERTIFIED Standards and Certification Cocoa Co-ordinator, said: “This new partnership brings on board one of the best known companies in the global chocolate industry. We look forward to working with Nestlé to create value for thousands of farmers and bring certified responsible cocoa to the Australian market.”
UTZ CERTIFIED is an independent international non-profit organisation which aims to achieve sustainable supply – with farmers implementing good practices and building their own business, industry rewarding them for sustainably grown products, and consumers buying products that meet their standard for social and environmental responsibility.
Consumers will be able to choose the sustainable bars by looking for the UTZ CERTIFIED symbol on-pack.
For more information please visit www.thecocoaplan.com
For further information:
External Communications Manager
Nestlé Australia Ltd
Tel: (02) 8756 2388
Mobile: 0406 403 397
Email: [email protected]