Ingredients with no after-taste
As well as cocoa, good chocolate calls for a range of additional choice ingredients from Switzerland and abroad. Although these raw materials are used in lesser quantities, Chocolats Halba still considers the ecological and social risks involved in their procurement and draws up suitable strategies.
Nut chocolates have always been extremely popular. In 2016, Chocolats Halba purchased the considerable quantity of 434.9 tonnes of hazelnuts. But these nuts are linked to social risks: in the main growing areas in Turkey, working conditions are often poor. Exploitative child labor also takes place.
To prevent human rights violations in the supply chain, Chocolats Halba relies on certifications. Since UTZ-certified hazelnuts only reached the market in 2017, we haven’t reached our target of 100% Utz-certified hazelnuts yet. We will increase the share of Utz-certified hazelnuts from risk countries to over a third until the end of 2017, and to over fifty percent until mid-2018.
“Over the next few years, we are going to intensify our relationship with suppliers in Turkey to gain a clear insight into the local situation there and help our partners to adhere to social production standards. In addition, over 50 percent of the hazelnuts we buy will be UTZ- certified by mid-2018.”
Daniel Böni, Head of Procurement, Chocolats Halba
To create lucrative palm plantations, tropical forests are cut down, and soils and water are contaminated with pesticides. Working conditions are also frequently questionable. Therefore Chocolats Halba does not use any palm fat in its chocolate bars. In many of the products that we manufacture in line with the most stringent sustainability standards, we have switched to using sustainably produced and certified cocoa fat instead, processing 112 tonnes of it in 2016. But for certain fillings we still use palm oil because there is no equivalent alternative for it. Palm oil has outstanding melting properties, a neutral taste and is solid at room temperature. All the palm oil we buy is certified in accordance with the criteria of the international Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil – in 2016 this amounted to 139 tonnes. The palm oil we use that is designated as “RSPO-segregated” comes directly from sustainably managed plantations.
Palm oil is obtained from the fruits of the oil palm.
In 2016, Halba purchased a total of 34.4 tonnes of soya lecithin. In foodstuffs, this natural emulsifier ensures that fat-based and water-based ingredients combine well together. Chocolats Halba uses soya lecithin in selected products as it has particularly good melting properties.
Worldwide demand for soya is growing steadily. The sharp increase in its acreage over recent years, especially in South America, is creating environmental and social problems. For example, rainforests are being cut down, species diversity and soil fertility are suffering, and the use of pesticides is endangering the health of agricultural workers. So despite the comparatively small quantities of soya lecithin it uses, Chocolats Halba attaches great importance to sourcing it sustainably.
We have therefore reduced the use of soya lecithin as much as possible but, due to personnel changes, haven’t reached our sustainability target yet. Chocolats Halba is currently developing a new sustainability target for the procurement of sustainable soy lecithin that will be included in the sustainability strategy 2017–2020.
Purchasing volume of sugar in 2016
With a purchasing volume of 5,315 tonnes (2016), sugar is the second most significant raw material for Chocolats Halba in terms of quantity behind cocoa. 3,186 tonnes of the sugar it bought originated from Switzerland and was made from sugar beet. Halba also imported 703 tonnes of organic/Fairtrade cane sugar from Paraguay and 932 tonnes of Fairtrade cane sugar from Costa Rica.
Raisins, vanilla, etc.
In addition to the raw materials mentioned here, raisins, vanilla, almonds and milk are also among the raw materials that play a role in the sustainable production of chocolate. Based on experiences with our ongoing strategy, we are developing a detailed watch list as part of the 2017–2020 sustainability strategy, which contains concrete measures for the responsible purchasing of these raw materials.