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Press Release for 5th Edition of The Chocolate Scorecard

To be released March 20th, 2024 – Embargoed till then 

When Fuzz Kitto, Co-Director of Be Slavery Free, visits cocoa farmers in West Africa, he often asks them a question: “If you were me, what would you want to ask leaders of chocolate companies when I meet with them?” The most common response he receives is, “Who are you? We don’t know you! Why don’t you come down here to our farms and see what it’s really like?” It is obvious that there is a disconnect between many decision-makers in the chocolate industry and the cocoa farmers - though there are exceptions. Many smaller chocolate companies and key sustainability staff know their farmers well, which is evident in their policies, programs and evaluation methods. 
During discussions with cocoa leaders and government officials in Cameroon, Fuzz Kitto and Ruben Bergsma, Be Slavery Free’s Director of the Chocolate Scorecard, asked how they plan to meet the requirements of EU Deforestation and Human Rights Due Diligence Regulations. The response was that they didn't know how they are going to do it and need assistance from the EU or chocolate companies. This is an emerging concern for those effected by EU regulations, particularly in Africa: will there be enough compliant cocoa for our insatiable desire for chocolate? 
The chocolate industry is undergoing significant change, but certain aspects, such as farmer poverty, remain unchanged despite being a longstanding issue. It is essential that the chocolate industry continues to prioritize sustainability, fair labor practices, and environmental conservation. This includes ensuring fair compensation for farmers, promoting responsible sourcing practices, reducing pesticide use, and safeguarding against child, any forced labor and deforestation. 
Moreover, the chocolate industry has the resources to address these challenges. It is powerful and lucrative. Consumption is around 1 kg for each person on the planet – that is 7.7 billion people! Forecasted revenue growth stands at 5.6%, surpassing global economic growth estimates of 2.6%. In 2024, it is expected to generate around US$254 billion.  
The Chocolate Scorecard initiative, coordinated by Be Slavery Free in collaboration with various stakeholders, aims to promote transparency, accountability, and responsible practices within the industry. By evaluating companies on social and environmental criteria, the Chocolate Scorecard provides valuable information for consumers to make ethical purchasing decisions and incentivizes companies to improve their performance in these areas. 
Consumer awareness and demand for ‘better’ chocolate is driving positive change in the industry. Initiatives like the Chocolate Scorecard play a crucial role in fostering transparency and accountability. Continued collaboration and engagement across stakeholders will be vital in driving progress towards a more sustainable and ethical chocolate industry. 

Explore the new Chocolate Scorecard

Being launched on 20 March 5pm (AEDT) / 7am (CET) / 2am (EST) at:

Who to contact

Fuzz Kitto, ; +61 407 931 115; Sydney, Australia (AEDT) 


  • Improvements in traceability are evident in response to EU Deforestation Regulations (EUDR), yet achieving full EUDR compliance remains a work in progress. As companies focus on their supply chains, there is a risk that farmers may not receive the necessary support they require. 
  • Companies are increasingly aware of their responsibility to ensure farmers get a decent income from cocoa, but still too many farmers remain in poverty. Without additional financial support this will continue. 
  • Child labor responses are increasing in effectiveness but the road to elimination is still fraught mainly due to lack of scale of programs. 
  • Environmental initiatives, such as climate targets, ending deforestation and use of agroforestry, are gaining momentum, in part due to emerging legislation (particularly in the EU) requiring that companies take the caring for the planet seriously. 
  • While many companies have policies on pesticide management in place, this hasn’t resulted in enough action on the ground. Overall we have not observed significant reductions in pesticide use. 
  • Governments, NGOs, companies and consumers must work together to ensure that farmers are supported in meeting the necessary requirements for EUDR compliance and are compensated fairly for their efforts. 
  • Child labor interventions need to be scaled up and to eradicate it in all supply chains, there needs to be traceability and a focus on addressing the root causes such as poverty that lead to its prevalence. 
  • Companies must work towards reducing their pesticide use and implementing more sustainable farming practices to protect the farmers (and particularly the children), the environment and to ensure the long-term viability of cocoa. 
  • It will take a concerted effort from all stakeholders to achieve these goals, but the future of the industry and the planet depends on it.  

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