Sustainability -
how are we contributing?

We have committed ourselves to creating shared values with our suppliers, ensuring the ingredients we source are produced with both human and animal suffering. With a strong emphasis of being cultivated and produced with minimum impact to the environment.

We have signed up to partnership agreements with suppliers under the global UN Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. The success of our business lies in our ability to contribute to the thousands of people around the world making our business possible in the first place. 

This means our suppliers incorporate and execute the principles of the UN Global Compact into business strategies, policies and procedures, as well as establishing a culture of integrity and responsibility t0 uphold basic responsibilities towards people and the planet.

We have committed to working with our partners and suppliers to find practical solutions and improvements in all aspects of our business.



Promote gender equality and opportunity

In many of the countries our ingredients are cultivated, women have vastly unequal decision-making power, control over household spending and access to education, finance, land and inputs.
Yet if women participated equally in the global economy, annual global GDP would increase 26% in 10 year (McKinsey Global Institute 2015).

For example, women’s involvement in post-harvest processing of cocoa significantly improves quality.

Working with the International Cocoa Organisation and the Government’s Department for Family and Social Development, our partners field officers work tirelessly in the fight against bridging the gap and fighting for opportune recognition.



Encourage good health and wellbeing among communities and workers 

Life expectancy in developing countries remains low, compounded by poor nutrition and lack of access to healthcare. This is not just unacceptable for the affected individuals and their families, but has a direct economic cost for the individual and the country.

Since 2016, our partners have continued to roll out a Healthy Living Campaign. Teams in numerous countries are continuing to hold sensitisation sessions on how to prevent malaria, diarrhoea and other common diseases. 

Ensuring access to safe water and sanitation - addressing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) access for employees in the workplace, particularly in plantations in highly rural emerging economies.

Encouraging employees to put their health first - Increasingly, we see the impacts of poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyles not just in rural communities but across both developed and developing nations.

Our partners are helping with guidance for employees, especially around personal protection, little things to us but advice  to empty, clean or cover containers that can hold water, such as buckets, flower pots or tyres, so that places where
mosquitoes could breed were removed.

Educating farmers about nutrition. Smallholder communities need support beyond yield improvements, and that
includes nutrition education. Vegetables and protein-rich foods grow in most regions but smallholders often don’t understand the benefits of a balanced diet. Our cocoa partner has been piloting modules in Côte d’Ivoire since 2016.



Farmers trained in good labour practices

In 2010, one of suppliers who we buy 60% of our crop from identified 8 economic, social and environmental principles to help smallholder communities become commercial rather than subsistence farmers. 

Perhaps more than any other sector, agriculture faces huge environmental challenges that are interlocked and
complex. At a global scale, our operations and those of our suppliers are at risk of climate change, poor soil quality, and water scarcity, which in turn impact on global food security.

Investing in processing close to the farmers means they see a ready market for their crop. It also reduces transport and environmental costs for our business. Examples include cocoa processing n Côte d’Ivoire and our spices processed in India.

Continue to support smallholders with crop diversification for improved income and food security.

Just as a balanced diet is nutritionally diverse, so a healthy livelihood shouldn’t be overly reliant on one crop.

Encouraging farmers to diversify crops helps to stagger income and spread risk. It is also good for the soil. Farmers
can grow other crops for cash or for family needs. In Côte d’Ivoire, a cocoa programme, with various customer partners, is supporting women to grow cassava, a food staple. In 2016, our suppliers helped 11 women’s groups establish nurseries from 5,000 vitamin A fortified high-yielding cassava plants. These nurseries can now each produce 50,000 cassava plants every year.

Improve the livelihoods of farmers and communities through initiatives that enhance productivity and returns.



Financial Literacy and transparency

Bypassing middle men to unlock mutual value.  In addition to the Fairtrade premium and pre‐financing from our partners,
the farmers (and our suppliers) will benefit financially by eliminating the middlemen, whilst full traceability
confers multiple benefits.

Our suppliers have set up education programmes helping farmers to count, negotiate and close deals financially appropriate towards the quality of their crop.



Better together

Working with cooperatives simplifies logistics. Avoiding collecting crops from individual farmers in rural locations, and peer‐pressure helps keep up good practices. Cooperatives help our suppliers to understand where to focus investment,
such as in warehousing for the crops. For the farmers, they have greater negotiating power and benefit from group training.

Cooperatives also play a crucial role in rolling out partnership Supplier Codes.  For those farmers with low literacy, we provide pictorial posters for display on cooperative buildings, while cooperatives are also empowered to sign on behalf of the farmers, auditing to ensure compliance. The challenge now is reaching farmers who are not yet organised into farmer groups and have very low productivity, which some NGOs have rightly highlighted as a concern. This requires a multi‐stakeholder approach.



Quality Policy and Food facilities, processes and systems

• Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)
• Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
• BRC/FSSC 22000
• International food safety regulation



Smallholders trained on climate-Smart practices

Reducing GHG emissions from our own suppliers farming and processing
operations. Adapting farming operations to build in climate resilience. Encouraging our farmer suppliers and logistics providers to reduce their GHG emissions and build in climate resilience

Fossil-fuelled growth, and the emission of greenhouse gases that accompanies it, has led the world to climate change that will have major consequences for millions of people and the natural world around us. This is why, the majority of our suppliers have called for a tax on carbon. Commercial enterprises must be incentivised to decouple growth from carbon – and there must be a higher cost to doing business as usual’ if companies are unwilling to change.

Only then can we stimulate a concerted effort to increase fossil-fuel efficiency and, more crucially, encourage innovation into alternative energies and efficiency measures. On our part, our main suppliers are already actively undertaking valuation studies in collaboration with other companies and agencies to determine a viable carbon-pricing framework.