ofi shares insights from latest Cocoa Compass report

ofi’s Cocoa Compass sustainability impact report details progress made in collaboration with its customers and partners towards its 2030 goals

ofi has revealed that developments in data and technology – from granular deforestation mapping and child labour monitoring, to AI-powered carbon measurement tools – are accelerating progress towards its Cocoa Compass sustainability ambition. It is also providing food and beverage companies with enhanced traceability and transparency ahead of new regulations in Europe and beyond.

The latest Cocoa Compass highlights based on 2022 data include:

  • New analysis showing over 30,168 farmers in ofi’s cocoa supply chain are earning a living income, putting the business on track to reach its 2030 target of 150,000 cocoa farmers earning a living income;
  • A 395% increase in the number of children receiving education support in 2022, compared to the 2018 baseline;
  • A 15% increase in the number of households covered by ofi’s child labour monitoring and remediation system (CLMRS);
  • Six million trees distributed by ofi, working with its customers and partners, for agroforestry and income diversification, from 2018 to 2022;
  • 79% of farms in ofi’s sustainability programmes have been polygon mapped.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Indonesia mission director, Jeff Cohen, said: “We are proud to be working together with ofi and the Hershey Company to encourage cocoa farmers to adopt more sustainable agriculture practices — like diversifying their crops and allowing more trees to remain on their land — which will strengthen their resilience against climate shocks and improve their livelihoods.”

Critical to delivering impact with USAID and other partners is technology. ofi’s utilises its sustainability management system, AtSource; this technology can be available to customers upon request, providing companies with data and insights on where and how their cocoa and other ofi ingredients are sourced, including their social and environmental impact. It also complements specific solutions that ofi is implementing to prepare for the incoming European Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). The technology includes:

  • A carbon stock monitoring and measurement tool that was created in partnership with geospatial specialists NGIS. It uses AI-powered analysis to provide data on forest cover and tree loss to monitor for deforestation, as well as understand how interventions like agroforestry and shade tree planting affect carbon stocks across different plots of land;
  • An carbon scenario planner that enables customers to understand the impact of different agricultural practices on GHG emissions and model efficient methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chain and delivering on their scope 3 emissions targets;
  • An updated cocoa farmer income tool, which shows detailed income estimates for a representative sample of farmers in ofi’s cocoa sustainability programmes. The tool provides a clearer picture of where actions on the ground are helping cocoa farmers earn more, as well as where customers can partner with ofi on initiatives to close income gaps.

ofi cocoa, managing director and CEO, Tejinder Singh Saraon, said: “The granularity of our data, coupled with our extensive footprint on the ground in origin countries and strong relationships with farmers, means we can continue to move the needle with collaborators like USAID. We’re also investing in technology to help some of the world’s biggest food and beverage brands meet the demand from their consumers for delicious, on-trend products with robust sustainability credentials. I’m incredibly grateful that our customers continue to partner with us on our Cocoa Compass sustainability journey. Although there are no easy solutions to the complex challenges facing cocoa farmers and the natural world, I’m proud of the impact we’re having together.”

Cocoa Compass was launched in 2019 as ofi’s ambition to collaborate with its customers, partners, and governments to play its part in making the future of cocoa more sustainable. It set challenging 2030 goals in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). In 2020, the company achieved its first set of Cocoa Compass targets, which included implementing 100% traceability and deforestation monitoring in its direct cocoa supply chain to farm or community.

ofi will announce a refreshed Cocoa Compass ambition in the latter half of 2024. This will incorporate learnings from the past five years and leverage the impact of its programmes in cocoa communities, thus reinforcing ofi’s broader sustainability strategy.