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Save Wildlife with Sustainable Chocolate

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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

The production of chocolate is linked to deforestation, which threatens critical wildlife habitats and contributes significantly to climate change. Take action!


Chocolate is one of the most loved treats around the world, but its production has significant environmental consequences.

Cocoa plantations contribute to deforestation in many countries such as Indonesia and Brazil1. This not only threatens the habitats of several endangered species like jaguars and orangutans2 but also contributes to climate change3. Chocolate companies like Cadbury4, Nestle5, Hershey's6, Mars7, and Ferrero profit from deforestation, with consumers unaware of the environmental destruction. Sustainable chocolate producers and conservation groups are working to combat deforestation and promote responsible sourcing practices8.

Chocolate companies rely heavily on the cocoa supply chain, which is linked to deforestation in critical wildlife habitats worldwide.

  • Cadbury has been accused of sourcing cocoa beans from suppliers that contribute to deforestation in Indonesia9.
  • Nestle has been linked to deforestation in the Ivory Coast and the Amazon10.
  • Hershey's has also been accused of sourcing cocoa beans from areas that contribute to deforestation in West Africa11.
  • Mars, on the other hand, has been accused of contributing to deforestation in Indonesia through its sourcing of palm oil, which is a key ingredient in chocolate production12.

Deforestation for cocoa production destroys critical wildlife habitats and biodiversity in countries like Indonesia, Brazil, and West Africa13. The expansion of cocoa farming is often linked to the use of harmful chemicals that can contaminate water sources and harm local communities14.

However, several initiatives are underway to promote more sustainable and responsible sourcing practices in the chocolate industry. Conservation groups are working with producers to develop alternative supply chains that prioritize environmental protection15 and human rights16. Some chocolate companies like Divine Chocolate, Tony's Chocolonely, Q'uma and others17 source their cocoa beans from farms that use sustainable practices such as agroforestry. Agroforestry involves growing cocoa beans alongside other trees, which promotes biodiversity and prevents deforestation18.

By choosing sustainable chocolate brands, consumers can support responsible practices in the cocoa industry and help to protect critical wildlife habitat and human rights.

Sustainable farming practices reduce the use of harmful chemicals and promote soil health, which benefits both the environment and the health of farmers and their families19. These companies invest in community development projects and pay fair prices for their cocoa beans, helping to support local economies and protect the rights of workers20.

Consumers can also make a significant impact on the environment and human rights by choosing to support sustainable chocolate practices. By signing our pledge to support sustainable chocolate, you can help ensure that your next chocolate craving doesn't come at the cost of critical wildlife habitat and the health of our planet.

The sustainable chocolate market is growing, and your support can inspire other companies to make positive changes in their supply chains21.

Save our planet and vulnerable wildlife. Take the pledge to support sustainable chocolate!

More on this issue:

  1. Lehigh University, Science Daily (17 October 2017), "Chocolate production linked to increased deforestation in poor nations."
  2. World Wildlife Fund (2023), "Deforestation and Forest Degradation."
  3. Annika Dean, The Climate Council (21 August 2019), "Deforestation and Climate Change."
  4. Rupert Evelyn, iTV News (2023), "Cadbury chocolate and Anchor butter among UK dairy products linked to deforestation in Brazil."
  5. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (15 December 2017), "Cocoa industry linked to illegal deforestation in Côte d'Ivoire & Ghana."
  6. Ruth Maclean, The Guardian (13 Sep 2017), "'Once this was all trees, but they burned them to plant cocoa': the ruin of West Africa's rainforest."
  7. Steven Mufson, The Washington Post, (29 October 2019), "The trouble with chocolate."
  8. Ruth Maclean, The Guardian (13 Sep 2017), "Chocolate industry drives rainforest disaster in Ivory Coast."
  9. Appleton Sweets (2023), "How Cadbury Chocolate is Made."
  10. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (29 Jun 2012), "Assessment of Nestle Cocoa Supply Chain in Ivory Coast."
  11. Isis Almeida, Baudelaire Mieu and Leanne de Bassompierre, Bloomberg (1 December 2020), "In a Global Chocolate War, It’s Hershey Against West Africa."
  12. Nikita Amir, Popular Science (21 January 2022), "Climate change is coming for Indonesia’s cocoa farms; candy companies aren’t helping."
  13. The Chocolate Journalist (10 May 2022), "Here Is Exactly How Cocoa Farming Is Causing Deforestation."
  14. George Afrane and Augustine Ntiamoah, IntechOpen (2011), "Use of Pesticides in the Cocoa Industry and Their Impact on the Environment and the Food Chain."
  15. Alan Kroeger, Haseebullah Bakhtary, Franziska Haupt, Charlotte Streck, Climate Focus North America Inc. (March 2017), "Eliminating Deforestation from the Cocoa Supply Chain."
  16. Chris Casey, FoodDive (5 January 2023), "Cocoa can’t be sustainable without systemic changes for farmers, report says."
  17. ctate, Green America (3 February 2022), "Put Down That Big-Name Chocolate - Grab These Fair Trade Chocolate Bars Instead!."
  18. Kauê de Sousa, Maarten van Zonneveld, Milena Holmgren, Roeland Kindt, Jenny C. Ordoñez, Scientific Reports (20 June 2019), "The future of coffee and cocoa agroforestry in a warmer Mesoamerica."
  19. Deborah Drew and Peter Boal, World Resources Institute (25 September 2019), "For Sustainability in Cocoa Production, Both Countries and Companies Need to Commit."
  20. Rabobank (29 September 2022), "How a fair price for cocoa improves farmers’ lives."
  21. Research and Markets (August 2020), "Global Chocolate Market - Forecasts from 2020 to 2025."
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The Pledge:

Deforestation is a major threat to the survival of critical wildlife habitats around the world. Unsustainable chocolate production has been linked to this problem, as many chocolate companies source their cocoa from regions where deforestation is rampant.

As individuals, we can take action to reduce the impact of deforestation by unsustainable chocolate producers. Here is a pledge that you can take to make a difference:

5. I pledge to research the chocolate brands that I buy and choose brands that use sustainable cocoa sourcing methods. I will make a conscious effort to buy chocolate from companies that support reforestation efforts and promote sustainable farming practices.

4. I pledge to recycle all chocolate packaging that I use. I will make sure that all wrappers and containers are properly disposed of in the recycling bin. This will reduce waste and prevent further damage to the environment.

3. I pledge to educate myself and others about the impact of unsustainable chocolate production on the environment. I will spread awareness about this issue through sharing articles and news stories with my network.

2. I pledge to support organizations that promote sustainable cocoa production and reforestation efforts. I will donate to reputable conservation organizations that work to protect wildlife habitats and promote sustainable farming practices.

1. I pledge to share this pledge with my network on social media. I will encourage others to take action to reduce the impact of deforestation by unsustainable chocolate producers. By sharing this pledge, we can make a difference together.

I recognize the impact of my choices on the environment. By taking this pledge, I am committing to making changes that will reduce the impact of deforestation by unsustainable chocolate producers.

I also encourage others to join me in taking action to protect critical wildlife habitats and promote sustainable farming practices. Together, we can make a difference and help preserve our planet for future generations.

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