Blommer Chocolate Company recognizes that the cultivation of agricultural commodities, including cocoa, has been a driver of accelerated deforestation and forest degradation over the past 50 years in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the world’s leading producers of cocoa. In response to this challenging problem, Blommer, one of the 34 chocolate and cocoa companies, working with key development partners, helped to establish the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI - www.cocoaandforests.org), a collective multistakeholder effort launched in partnership with the Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit (ISU) in January, 2017. Through this effort Blommer has announced our commitment to end deforestation and forest degradation in our supply chains in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
Blommer was one of the 12 original signatories of this platform with HRH Prince Charles and we are engaged in the building of the framework that will be announced at the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change, scheduled for November 2017 in Bonn, Germany. This framework will provide for a common industry vision and serve to align chocolate and cocoa companies’ individual sustainability plans.
Given the vital role that smallholder cocoa farming plays in providing for employment and income in local communities, efforts to end deforestation and forest degradation must be done in a socially sustainable manner that avoids abrupt removal of cocoa farmers and their family members from agriculturally productive lands without making provisions for them to access viable alternative sources of employment and income. In all of our efforts, we understand the critical need for a balanced and comprehensive approach.
In addition to our work with the ISU, over the past several years Blommer has incorporated various sustainable activities and partnerships with an anti-deforestation focus into our Sustainable Origins platform.
- Blommer joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2013. The RSPO is the leading organization in the palm industry addressing the issue of deforestation. (www.rspo.org)
- Blommer began our partnership with the Rainforest Alliance (RA) in 2008. We were recognized with RA’s “Sustainability Standard-Setter” Award in 2012 and their "Corporate Sustainability Champion” Award in 2017. The Rainforest Alliance’s mission is biodiversity conservation. (www.rainforest-alliance.org)
- In the Ivory Coast, Blommer’s sustainability programs have introduced over 250,000 non-cocoa shade trees into the farming communities to help build agricultural diversity.
Blommer Chocolate will continue to work towards sustainable deforestation across all farming communities and will communicate this work through our website. (www.blommer.com/sustainableorigins.php)
CA Transparency Statement
On January 1, 2012, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 (SB 657) (“Act”) will go into effect in the State of California. The Act seeks the elimination of slavery and human trafficking from product supply chains and requires that companies disclose their efforts to ensure that their supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.
Blommer Chocolate has always been committed to conducting our business in a fair and ethical manner. As stated in our Code of Conduct, Blommer does not use any forced labor, meaning any work or service performed involuntarily under threat of physical or other penalty nor does Blommer employ child labor, specifically anyone under the age of sixteen. Our ingredients are sourced from companies that conduct themselves in the same manner and Blommer requires that these suppliers confirm that their organizations understand International Labor standards and comply with International Labor Laws. If we believe that a supplier is not in compliance with our standards with respect to our Supplier Labor Law Letter or our Code of Conduct we will provide the supplier with the opportunity to address and remedy any potential non compliance through a corrective action plan. Should non compliance continue to be an issue we will seek to eliminate the supplier from our supply chain.
In concert with our corporate sustainability program, Blommer is actively working with the cocoa growing community, local and U.S. government agencies, NGO’s and international commodity suppliers to educate farmers and their families on national guidelines on slavery and human trafficking. All farmer cooperatives participating in the education programs acknowledge that they understand and will maintain compliance with International Labor standards. Blommer is committed to continuing this work in concert with these stakeholders to improve labor conditions within the cocoa community including the elimination of the worst forms of child labor on farms. Our programs in West Africa are annually audited and certified by Bureau Veritas and Rainforest Alliance.
We conduct internal training on Blommer’s Code of Conduct to ensure employees involved in supply chain management are knowledgeable of our expectations to comply with all labor laws, including human trafficking and child labor regulations and to convey our expectations that they conduct themselves in an ethically and legally acceptable manner at all times.
Palm Oil Sustainability Statement
Thank you for your interest in palm oil sustainability. As this issue continues to be in the forefront of the news, many customers have asked about the sustainability status of Blommer Chocolate’s supply chain on tropical oils. Be assured that Blommer Chocolate is committed to sourcing palm oil in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Blommer has a long history of supporting cocoa community sustainability, beginning in the 1950s when our founder, Henry Blommer, began what is now the World Cocoa Foundation. As North America’s largest processor of cocoa beans and ingredient chocolate products, we recognize that principled purchasing practices can have a significant impact on communities and the world.
We are in the process of formalizing a sustainability plan for palm oil to ensure our customers will meet the industry mandate of sourcing 100% certified sustainable palm oil by 2015. These goals fit in with what we already embrace and believe in, so we are happy to expand our focus to this area.
To further reinforce the development of sustainable practices:
- Blommer has a solid track record of demonstrating our passion and commitment to sourcing sustainable cocoa and supporting the efforts of farmers while preserving the environment
- We are expanding our focus on responsible and sustainable sourcing practices to include palm oil
- We currently only source oil from suppliers who are founding members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)
- We are in the process of evaluating our supply chain to determine how to best meet our sustainability goals as we move forward
We will continue to provide updates as we meet our goals and progress forward. We welcome your comments on this initiative, as we all share the same goal in sustainable palm oil sourcing practices.
Blommer Chocolate: RSPO Membership
RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry - oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation NGOs and social or developmental NGOs - to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.
Production to RSPO Principles & Criteria for sustainability means that your production meets the world's most stringent criteria for sustainable production. RSPO certification of such production is evidence to the world of the strict standards you subscribe to and your commitment that the agriculture you practice should be sustainable.
Check our progress at www.rspo.org