Europe Welcomes the Inaugural KitKat Made with Cocoa from Nestlé’s Income Accelerator

Nestlé Unveils Groundbreaking KitKat Made with Cocoa from its Income Accelerator Program for Farmer Families”

Nestlé has recently launched the first KitKat crafted using cocoa sourced from beans cultivated by farmer families participating in the company’s innovative income accelerator initiative. This special KitKat not only aims to establish a direct connection between consumers and the farmers involved in Nestlé’s program but also seeks to raise awareness about the sustainability of the cocoa used in these iconic chocolate bars.

The income accelerator program, initiated in January 2022, was designed to narrow the living income gap for cocoa-farming families and mitigate the risk of child labor. Simultaneously, it strives to promote better agricultural practices and gender equality by empowering women as agents for positive change. The program encourages enrolled cocoa-farming families to send their children to school, adopt good agricultural practices, engage in agroforestry activities, and diversify their sources of income.

To date, Nestlé’s income accelerator program has supported over 10,000 families in Côte d’Ivoire and is set to expand to Ghana this year, encompassing a total of 30,000 families. By 2030, the program aims to reach an estimated 160,000 cocoa-farming families within Nestlé’s global cocoa supply chain, creating a significant impact at a larger scale.

Nestlé has collaborated with various partners and suppliers to revolutionize its global cocoa sourcing, ensuring full traceability and physical segregation of cocoa from its income accelerator program. This guarantees the ability to track cocoa beans from their origin to the factory while keeping them physically separated from other sources. The cocoa mass from the income accelerator program adheres to one of the highest traceability standards, known as ‘mixed identity preserved’ traceability, allowing cocoa to be traced and stored separately. Furthermore, Nestlé plans to use segregated cocoa butter for all its KitKat chocolate in Europe by mid-2024, with intentions to expand this practice to other regions in the years to come.

Corinne Gabler, Head of Confectionery and Ice Cream at Nestlé, emphasized the significance of KitKat in representing the company’s efforts to make a meaningful impact in cocoa communities. She stated, “KitKat has consistently embraced innovation, centered around its iconic ‘Have a break, Have a KitKat’. Today, this innovation is brought to life through the Breaks for Good initiative that puts cocoa farmers at the center of our product through our income accelerator program.”

The KitKat Breaks for Good will be available on store shelves starting from January 2024 in 27 European countries and, from May 2024, in the UK. Additionally, a limited-edition KitKat with 70% dark chocolate, also made with cocoa sourced from the income accelerator, has been introduced in the UK market as a pilot.

Michiel van der Bom, Product Line Director Cocoa & Chocolate Europe West Africa at Cargill, expressed Cargill’s commitment to supporting Nestlé’s long-term goals and the progress of the Income Accelerator Program. He commented, “As a partner on Nestlé’s sustainability journey, we are implementing solutions to source sustainable ingredients for Nestlé in ways that help restore the environment, support families, and increase incomes.”

Thierry Touchais, Manager, Strategic Accounts at the Rainforest Alliance, praised Nestlé’s efforts towards sustainable cocoa sourcing. He said, “We’re delighted to collaborate with Nestlé on their journey towards more sustainable cocoa sourcing. It’s encouraging to find a company of this scale using a ‘mixed identity preserved’ model in which cocoa can be traced back to Rainforest Alliance certified farmers engaged in Nestlé’s income accelerator. The approach showcases the potential for positive change in the industry.”

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