An increasingly large proportion of cocoa purchased by Dutch cocoa processing companies is certified sustainable, according to the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. However, the share only inched up from 21 % in 2014 to 30 % two years later in 2016. The data about the use of certified sustainable cocoa was gathered by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and commissioned by the Dutch government. And although more certified sustainable cocoa is being used, the figures show there is still some way to go.
In 2016, the Netherlands purchased 600 m kg of cocoa beans and 100 m kg of cocoa products for processing purposes. The country is a major importer of cocoa beans, and one-fifth of the beans entering the global market are Dutch imports. The imported cocoa beans are processed into semi-finished products such as cocoa mass, cocoa butter and cocoa powder by a handful of large holdings. The majority of these semi-finished products are exported. The remainder is processed into end products by chocolate manufacturers, bakeries and other food producers, some of which are also exported, according to the CBS.
It is not revealing which companies took part in its survey but says that the some of the driving forces behind sustainability are various organizations, such as WWF and Max Havelaar as well as the Dutch government. “In addition, the business community is active through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability in the Netherlands is more prevalent among consumers than in neighboring countries,” says Cor Pierik from CBS.