LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, ECOM – one of the world’s largest suppliers of cocoa beans and ingredients to leading chocolate manufacturers and food brands – has released its Smarter Cocoa Charter, which sets time-bound commitments and goals to advance its mission to develop a smarter future for cocoa. The Charter is published in the very first issue of ECOM cocoa sustainability report with reference to the GRI standards, also launched today.
The new Charter underscores ECOM’s continued commitment to putting farmers at the heart of its operations and building their resilience to the impacts of climate change. It is based on three pillars: i) improve the livelihoods of farmers and workersii) protect and regenerate natureand iii) manage change through transparency and traceability.
Nicolas de Wasseige, Deputy Managing Director of Cocoa at ECOM, said: “With over 170 years of experience as a commodity trader, ECOM is well versed in the social and environmental challenges of trading agricultural commodities within complex global supply chains. Our Smarter Cocoa Charter creates a clear framework in which we can focus our efforts and track our progress towards a sustainable future for farmers and the planet.
The Charter’s detailed ambitions include a commitment by ECOM to train 100% of farmers in its home supply chain, identified as at high risk of negative climate change impacts, in climate-smart agriculture. ‘by the end of 2025. the smart techniques address the specific needs of farmers and may include training in good soil management, pest control and shade management. To help diversify incomes and build climate resilience, the Charter also sets out to establish models of agroforestry – agricultural systems to help improve forest cover, sequester carbon and enhance biodiversity and soil health – and monitoring systems in 100% of ECOM’s original supply. chains by the end of 2023.
The Charter commits ECOM to achieve net zero emissions across its entire value chain by 2050 in accordance with the Science Based Targets initiative. At the farm level, ECOM distributed more than 7 million multipurpose trees (including fruit trees and timber trees) in 2021, with customer support, helping to fight deforestation, diversify farmers’ incomes and contribute to poverty reduction.
Guus de Gruiter, Deputy Managing Director of Cocoa at ECOM, said: “The Smarter Cocoa Charter is the first phase of our ambition to build a smarter future for cocoa. As we take the next steps in our journey, we will focus on continuously improving sustainability performance across all of our beans, products and processing operations, and elevating the position of sustainability across our business.
The Cocoa Sustainability Charter and Report also demonstrate ECOM’s efforts to improve farmers’ livelihoods. The company implemented the Social Progress Index and Gender Equity Index in 2021 to assess social health and gender disparities within its cocoa supply chain. The Gender Equity Index has been successfully piloted in Ghana and Peru to help the company strategically close gender equity gaps and empower women, with the goal of rolling it out across the country. ECOM’s original supply chain by the end of 2025.
ECOM believes that traceability brings greater visibility to its business and provides assurance that each grain has been sourced responsibly. As a result, ECOM is committed to achieving 100% traceability for all grain purchased through its supply chains by the end of 2025.
Pamela Schreier, Senior Global Cocoa Sustainability Manager at ECOM, said: “We are delighted to launch ECOM’s first cocoa sustainability report with reference to the GRI standards. Through ECOM’s years of intensive on-the-ground experience, we have learned that supporting and engaging with farmers is fundamental to meeting the challenges facing cocoa farmers today. Last year, in cooperation with our customers and donors, we provided training and services to more than 200,000 farmers, supporting their incomes and helping them to sustain their farming techniques.
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ECOM Agroindustrial Corp. Ltd is a leading global commodity trading and sustainable supply chain management group with over 170 years of experience in agricultural commodities. The majority of ECOM’s activities are in the supply and processing of cocoa, coffee and cotton. The company is headquartered in Switzerland and operates in 35 major producing countries, managing innovative field operations and sustainability programs in farming communities. ECOM is one of the world’s largest suppliers of cocoa beans and sustainable ingredients to chocolate manufacturers, consumer food brands and B2B manufacturers, sourcing quality beans from over 25 countries.