The Lindt Excellence Dark 85% Bar is a bar of deluxe chocolate, with a unique aroma and intense taste. The company that produces it, Lindt & Sprüngli, recognizes the major issues associated with the cocoa industry, such as poverty, lack of education and child labour, and it has taken steps in the right direction to reduce these and become more sustainable. They started the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program in 2008 to take responsibility for a more sustainable cocoa agriculture. Through it, the company is able to gain control over its supply chain and support farmers and local communities. This has yielded positive results in the cocoa bean supply, and the company plans to source all cocoa sustainably by 2025. In my opinion, even though Lindt & Sprüngli is transparent about what it is doing, in order to be truly sustainable, it needs to reach further goals and targets it has implemented to address relevant issues.
Ingredients: Cocoa Mass, Fat-Reduced Cocoa, Cocoa Butter, Demerara Sugar, Vanilla, Cocoa Solids: 85% min.
The company’s Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program is a great initiative, which consists of gathering data, assessing needs, offering training and investments to support the farmers, and community development programmes. The company adopted a ‘bean to bar’ approach, and is taking responsibility for every step of the chocolate making process, ensuring transparency and direct relationships with its supply chains. In 2020, the company achieved its 100% traceable and externally verified cocoa beans goal. However, it is only sourcing 63% of cocoa (beans, butter, powder and chocolate) through sustainability programs, as it aims to increase the percentage to 100% by 2025. In my opinion, Lindt & Sprüngli has done a good job setting clear objectives, working actively towards them and monitoring its progress to ensure they achieve their goals.
Around one-third of all cocoa beans processed by Lindt & Sprüngli are fine flavour cocoa beans, which only represent 5-10% of the world’s cocoa harvest. The company does not use any genetically modified (GMO) ingredients, and the quality of all the ingredients used is monitored in their labs. This helps detect possible residues from pesticides, and ensures a rich taste and superior quality of the chocolate bar. Lindt & Sprüngli’s EXCELLENCE range is also fit for vegans, as no animal products are used to make them.
Lindt & Sprüngli uses distinctive processes to make smooth, flavourful chocolate. The company begins by selecting and blending the high-quality cocoa beans. Then, it goes on to roasting the cocoa nibs, which emphasises the rich notes, and then it grinds them.
In 2020, 45% of Lindt & Sprüngli’s packaging was made from recycled materials and 10% of packaging was made from virgin plastics. 86% of the packaging was recyclable, and the company is committed to increasing this number to 100% by 2025, as well as eliminating all non-recyclable plastic and reducing the use of virgin plastic.
The company is a member of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI), and it is committed to achieving deforestation free cocoa supply chain by 2025. I think that the farming program supports this initiative, because through training and investments, alternative methods to deforestation can be found to increase cocoa production. Moreover, a No-Deforestation & Agroforestry Action Plan was launched in 2019; however, in 2020, just above 60% of cocoa was sourced from farmers who are covered by this plan.
Most of the company’s emissions come from sourcing and production of raw materials. From 2015 to 2020, Lindt & Sprüngli achieved a 10% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the production process per ton produced, and a 10% reduction of municipal water. The company is committed to reaching net-zero emissions in the long term and reducing its water usage further, and I believe that having a long-term perspective is necessary. In order to achieve this, it will define a science-based target by 2023.
The company was founded in 1845, with the plan of becoming the first company to produce chocolate in solid form in the German-speaking area of Switzerland. The company’s main core values consist of quality, social responsibility and profitability, and its promise that “All the products that leave our factories will ultimately live up to our commitment to sustainability along the entire value chain” illustrates the commitment to conducting ethical business.
The Lindt & Sprüngli Supplier Code of Conduct requires all suppliers to comply with applicable national and international laws and regulations, and the Lindt & Sprüngli Business Code of Conduct ensures professionalism and high ethical standards when conducting business.
100% of Lindt & Sprüngli’s cocoa farmers for cocoa beans in child labor risk countries are covered by a Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS), and the company is educating farmers and supporting communities through their Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program in order to avoid child labour. In the case of cocoa beans, this has been successful, and I believe that if the company achieves its goal of sourcing 100% sustainable cocoa by 2025, child labour activity will be significantly reduced. I think that the company has taken on a big responsibility to engage with these issues, but using its influence to have a positive impact on communities is essential.