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Macquarie University Report Shows Mission-driven Chocolate Companies Revealed

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Developed by the charity Be Slavery Free in collaboration with Macquarie Business School Professor John Dumay, as well as researchers from The Open University UK and the University of Wollongong, the Scorecard grades chocolate companies on key sustainability issues.

It is estimated that up to 95 per cent of the chocolate industry is captured by the Chocolate Scorecard, which assesses traceability and transparency, working conditions and environmental practices. Efforts to eliminate poverty and child slavery from cocoa production in West Africa is one of the key considerations.

A study commissioned by the US Department of Labor revealed that approximately 1.5 million children are working in cocoa production in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, with a staggering 95 per cent of them being exposed to worst forms of child labour due to the hazardous nature of their activities.

Dumay says, “Governments and consumers are increasingly demanding to know where and how the chocolate is made and ensure it is not tainted with unsustainable farming and production processes. Encouragingly, more chocolate companies are improving the sustainability of their supply chains, but there is still a long way to go before exploitation free chocolate becomes the norm.”

This year, the scorecard has included more companies than ever before. The analysis has also looked at retailers and private labels from across the world.

The two ‘Good Egg’ winners were Netherlands-based companies Original Beans and Tony’s Chocolonely. Madagascar’s Beyond Good, US-based Alter Eco and Swiss-based HALBA rounded out the top five.

“Unfortunately, the mission to produce and sell exploitation free chocolate has not permeated to Australian retailers,” explains Dumay. “The scorecard identifies areas where they can improve, and we hope to work with them to change for the better.”

Household names such as Mars Wrigley, Whittaker’s, Nestle, Ferrero and Unilever all feature on the scorecard.