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Nestlé, comes the kitkat with 100% sustainable cocoa

The new rod is produced under the Growers Income Acceleration Program

KitKat and its parent brand Nestlé become increasingly sustainable. The kitkat "Breaks for Good" made from 100% chocolate from the Income Acceleration Program (IAP) will be available on store shelves this month in 27 European countries and from may 2024 in the UK. In the meantime, a limited edition KitKat with 70% dark chocolate, also produced with cocoa from the revenue accelerator, was launched on an experimental basis only on the British market.

The new bar is part of the sustainable initiative identified with the slogan "Breaks for Good": it will help bridge the income gap of cocoa farmers' families and reduce the risk of child labour in its supply chain. The European launch of the programme took place at the Nestlé plant in Hamburg, where most of the iconic bars are produced. 

The IAP was established in January 2022 to raise public awareness of the sustainability of the cocoa mass from seeds grown by farming families involved in the programme to advance best agricultural practices and promote equality gender, empowering women as agents of positive change. The programme encourages families of cocoa farmers who enroll their children in school, implement good agricultural practices, engage in agroforestry and diversify their income.

According to Nestlé, the cocoa obtained from the income acceleration program adheres to one of the highest standards of traceability, ensuring a "preserved mixed identity" traceability, allowing cocoa to be traced and stored separately. The company also plans to use "segregated cocoa" butter, another ingredient in chocolate bars, for all its KitKats in Europe from the middle of this year, with the intention of expanding to other regions in the coming years.

"KitKat has always embraced innovation, focused on its iconic 'Have a break, Have a KitKat': today this innovation comes to life through the 'Breaks for Good' initiative that puts cocoa growers at the heart of our product thanks to our income acceleration program -fold Corinne Gabler, head of the confectionery and ice cream sector of Nestlé-. We could not think of a better brand than KitKat to represent our efforts to create a significant impact in cocoa communities".

Nestlé’s income acceleration program has so far supported more than 10,000 households in Ivory Coast and is expanding into Ghana this year to include a total of 30,000 households: By 2030, the program aims to reach about 160,000 cocoa grower families in the global cocoa supply chain of Nestlé to create an impact on scale.

The Iap is based on Nestlé’s Cocoa Plan, the company’s 15-year-old internal sustainability program, to create a fully traceable supply chain. If all the measures are complied with, according to the company the families of cocoa farmers will receive up to 500 Euros per year for the first two years and then 250 Euros each year. Reports from Nestlé suppliers show that since January 2022, cocoa farmers' families participating in the programme have received incentives of around 2 million Euros.

The company imports about 350,000 tons of cocoa per year: in 2023, over 80% came from the Nestlé Cocoa Plan. This year it is estimated that around 45,000 tonnes will be added to its supply chain and allocated to the income acceleration programme. 

"The income accelerator is to provide the support and incentive to help cocoa farmers make really fundamental changes in the management of family and farm -stresses Alexander von Maillot, ceo of Nestlé Germany-. It is a much more realistic program than we had in the past, which allows families to have a better income, so that children can go to school".

The Iap offers financial incentives to farmers to improve agricultural practices on the farm, such as better pruning or cultivation of other fruit trees, and to improve the environmental credentials of the land. There is financial support for sending children to school, instead of letting them work on the farm, and elements to encourage other sources of income.

Cargill is another of the key partners committed to supporting Nestlé’s long-term goals and its progress in delivering IAP for its chocolate brands. Cargill stores cocoa in its warehouse at the port of Hamburg. Kitkats are still produced in the York plant in the UK, where the chocolate bar was invented in 1935, and in a factory in Sofia.

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EFA News - European Food Agency