Protest at Amsterdam cocoa week targets German chocolate giant Storck’s unethical cocoa sourcing

Sydney Jones

Press Secretary

[email protected]

Carole Mitchell

Sr. Director Communications

[email protected]

Link to images

Link to our petition to Storck

Campaigners from Mighty Earth and We Move Europe, gather at Amsterdam Cocoa Week to delivery 41 000 strong petition to German Chocolate company Storck

[February 6, 2024, Amsterdam, Netherlands] German chocolate giant Storck’s lack of transparency in its cocoa supply chain was the focus of a protest at Amsterdam Cocoa Week spearheaded by Mighty Earth, in partnership with We Move Europe.  This united action included the delivery of a petition with 41,000 signatures from consumers who have backed calls for Storck to ensure its chocolate is free of child labour and deforestation. The protest was joined by climate and environmental groups and activists who support the aims to bring about meaningful change across the chocolate industry.

The petition calls on Storck – which manufactures well-known brands such as Werther’s Original, Toffifee, Bendicks, Reisen and Merci – to pay cocoa farmers a living wage, increase transparency in cocoa sourcing, and minimize pesticide in cocoa growing. Storck was given the ‘Rotten Egg’ award for two years running in the Chocolate Scorecard, which ranks and grades around 90% of the global cocoa industry on sustainability issues.

Despite a request to meet with Storck to hand over the petition, the company did not send a representative to accept the petition.

Julian Oram, Senior Director at Mighty Earth said:

“As one of the most profitable chocolate companies in the world, Storck’s token efforts in tackling issues such as child labor and deforestation within its cocoa supply chains is unacceptable. The glaring incongruity between the company’s billion-dollar profits and cocoa farmers’ wages, who are the backbone of its cocoa production, is nothing short of exploitation. Storck must raise its game by publishing detailed information of where it sources its cocoa beans from, actively monitor to ensure there’s no deforestation happening in those areas, and pay farmers a fair price for cocoa grown sustainably.”

Etelle Higonnet, Cocoa campaigner & Author of Storck petition said:

“Today, we, along with the 41,000 petition signatories, are sending a clear message to Storck that we will continue to hold them accountable until they commit to upholding labor and environmental integrity in its cocoa supply chains. Storck claims that ‘sustainable management is an integral part of our values and actions’ but really it is demonstrating is the exact opposite. We demand tangible action, not hollow rhetoric, to align with the true spirit of responsible and ethical business practices.”

Our asks of Storck:

  • Pay all cocoa farmers in its supply chain a living wage. Paying cocoa farmers fair income would lift millions of smallholders out of extreme poverty and disincentivise deforestation and expansion into protected rainforest.
  • Prove, in a transparent way, that it does not accept any child labor to produce its cocoa.
  • Invest in sustainable cocoa production and replace monoculture with agroforestry.
  • Reduce the use of pesticides in cocoa production as much as possible.

Ends  

Notes to the editor:

  • Cocoa is one of the biggest drivers of deforestation in tropical forests globally – with its recent contribution to deforestation in protected areas of Ivory Coast and Ghana being 37.4% – 13.5% respectively,
  • Storck is the second biggest chocolate company in Germany and supplies the supermarket Aldi. Storck’s CEO, Axel Oberwelland, is worth over 5 billion euros but cannot guarantee that all his company’s cocoa farmers are paid a living wage, or stop child labor, or halt the destruction of our planet’s precious rainforests.

Useful links:

For more information, to RSVP, or to arrange an interview please contact:

Etelle Higonnet, Cocoa campaigner & Host of Storck Petition

[email protected]

+1 202 848 7792

Mighty Earth:

Julian Oram, Senior Director, Mighty Earth

[email protected]

+44 7812 115650

 

Carole Mitchell, Senior Director of Communications, Mighty Earth (based in the UK)

[email protected]

+44 7917 105000

 

Sydney Jones, Press Secretary, Mighty Earth (based in Washington D.C.)

[email protected] 

+1 561 809 5522

About Mighty Earth

Mighty Earth is a global advocacy organization working to defend a living planet.  Our goal is to protect half of Earth for Nature and secure a climate that allows life to flourish.  We are obsessed with impact and aspire to be the most effective environmental advocacy organization in the world. Our team has achieved transformative change by persuading leading industries to dramatically reduce deforestation and climate pollution throughout their global supply chains in palm oil, rubber, cocoa, and animal feed, while improving livelihoods for Indigenous and local communities across the tropics.

www.mightyearth.org 

We Move Europe: Taime Smit, Freelance Campaigner, [email protected]

About WeMove Europe

WeMove Europe is community of 1,000,000 Europeans that seeks to transform Europe in the name of all people, future generations and the planet. At the centre of what we do are two key beliefs: that people hold the power to drive change, and that the Europe we live in today needs real, deep-rooted transformation so that its politics reflect the needs of people and planet rather than corporations and profit. When we all take action together we create something bigger than ourselves. That is when politicians start listening to us, when big business feels the pressure, when hope becomes a reality.

http://www.wemove.eu

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