To say I love candy would be an understatement. I really, really love it, and that means I probably eat more of it than I should. With Halloween less than a week away, candy is definitely at the front of my mind right now. I know that I am not the only one with a sweet tooth. Did you know that demand for chocolate has doubled over the past 20 years, but the supply of cocoa beans has remained the same? Tough economic conditions, poor social conditions for farmers, and lower-yielding crops have put the future of cocoa at chocolate at risk. Can you imagine a Halloween without chocolate? That's a scary thought! Thankfully, Nestlé has a plan in place to help sustainably source the cocoa it uses in many of their famous chocolate candies, through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.
It is a long road for the cocoa to make it into the tasty chocolate bars we so love to eat. Most of the cocoa production is centered primarily in West Africa, starting out as just a pod on a tree. It takes 400 cocoa beans to make just 1 pound of chocolate, and with the world consuming over 3 million tons of cocoa annually, it's no wonder the supply is dwindling. Since 2009, Nestlé Cocoa Plan has been sourcing sustainable cocoa so that 53 million U.S. households can continue to enjoy their favorite Nestlé chocolates for generations to come.
The Nestlé Cocoa Plan is protecting the future of Cocoa by:
- Training 33,000+ farmers in sustainable farming practices.
- Providing over 1 million disease-resistant, higher-yielding cocoa plantlets to farmers.
- Investing $120 million to improve cocoa sustainability globally.
- Initially source 80 tons of cocoa by the end of 2014.
- Build or refurbish 40 schools in the Ivory Coast for children in cocoa farming communities.
This Halloween, we want to support brands that practice making products with sustainable cocoa, but trying to differentiate between companies who do or do not can be a challenge. The easiest way to tell is by looking on the bag for one of these 4 labels:
- Nestlé Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups
- Hershey's Bliss
- Dagoba Organic
- Schaffen Berger
- DOVE Dark Chocolate
You can also find sustainable cocoa in other non-candy products as well:
- Hot cocoa, such as Nestlé Hot Cocoa
- Chocolate milk, such as Nestlé Nesquik Ready-to-drink and powder
- Cocoa powder
- Baking Chocolate, like Nestlé Toll House Morsels (Dark and milk chocolate)
If you would like to learn more about sustainable cocoa, you can read more at the Nestlé Cocoa Plan website.
What kind of candy are you passing out this Halloween?