The retailer has said that, by the end of 2018, all its private-label chocolate sold in the UK will be from Rainforest Alliance certified sources.
By the same date, Tesco has said all cocoa used in other UK products - such as biscuits, cakes, desserts and cereals - will be responsibly sourced in accordance with sustainability programs including Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Cocoa Horizons and Fairtrade.
“Our customers want to be reassured that we treat farmers and growers well and that the foods they buy are sourced responsibly,” said Tesco chief product officer Jason Tarry.
Help to support cocoa farmers
“Our collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance will help to support cocoa farmers, improve their livelihoods and ensure we are offering great sustainable and affordable products,” he added.
The cocoa announcement follows a series of measures recently announced by Tesco that it has described as designed to “help build trusted and transparent partnerships with its suppliers and ensure more of its products are sourced sustainably.”
This has included sustainable farming programs for lamb farmers and cheese producers, a Fair For Farmers Guarantee for fresh milk, and an extension of its partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council that has resulted in the retailer offering 80 MSC-certified products to customers.
The Rainforest Alliance this week said it was delighted with Tesco’s latest pledge.
“Tesco’s commitment will have a significant impact on improving the social, economic, and environmental well-being of cocoa farming communities,” said Rainforest Alliance president Nigel Sizer.
Tesco accounted for a 28.2% share of UK grocery market value sales in the 12 weeks ending June 19, according to Kantar Worldpanel data. This was down from 28.6% a year ago as Tesco and other traditional supermarkets lose market share to discounters such as Aldi and Lidl.