Sustainable cocoa sourcing

As part of General Mills’ goal to sustainably source 100 percent of our 10 priority ingredients, we are committed to sourcing 100 percent of our cocoa volumes sustainably by the close of 2020.

We continue to make progress toward our goal and in 2019, 93 percent of the cocoa General Mills purchased was sustainably sourced. And, we have expanded our work with key suppliers and NGO partners to provide direct support to cocoa-growing communities in West Africa, where 90 percent of the cocoa we purchase is grown.

Since 2017, 100 percent of our powdered cocoa has been sustainably sourced, but our work was not done. During fiscal 2019, we worked to transition more of our global chocolate purchase to sustainable volumes.

Collaboration is key to our progress, therefore we work directly with our suppliers to advance sustainability, address systemic challenges and enforce our Supplier Code of Conduct, which prohibits forced and child labor. In addition, we are a member of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), which works with the food industry to address social and environmental issues in the cocoa supply chain.

Since signing on to WCF’s Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI) aimed at ending deforestation and promoting forest restoration and protection in key cocoa growing regions in March 2017, we have worked closely with suppliers, NGOs and Proforest to identify strategic actions to:

  • protect and restore forests;
  • increase sustainable production; and
  • promote social and community engagement. 

Read a more detailed description of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative and our approach, in this PDF. As part of our CFI commitment, we’ve embarked on a targeted West Africa forest protection and restoration initiative that with funding support from General Mills will drive progress toward our 2025 GHG emissions reduction goal. 

In early 2019, we collaborated closely with suppliers to aggregate and integrate information and develop General Mills action plans with intended investment and forecasted impact through 2022 for both Cote d’Ivoire (Excel) and Ghana (Excel). Annual progress report narratives have been updated for Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

“As we look beyond 2020, we will further strengthen our collaborative approach, partnerships and commitments to help address root causes of deforestation, and both protect and restore forests that are critical to all of life,” said Mary Jane Melendez, Chief Sustainability & Social Impact Officer and President of the General Mills Foundation.