Blommer Chocolate Company recognizes that the cultivation of agricultural commodities, including cocoa, has been a driver of accelerated deforestation and forest degradation over the past 50 years in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the world’s leading producers of cocoa. In response to this challenging problem, Blommer, one of the 34 chocolate and cocoa companies, working with key development partners, helped to establish the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI - www.cocoaandforests.org), a collective multistakeholder effort launched in partnership with the Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit (ISU) in January, 2017. Through this effort Blommer has announced our commitment to end deforestation and forest degradation in our supply chains in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
Blommer was one of the 12 original signatories of this platform with HRH Prince Charles and we are engaged in the building of the framework that will be announced at the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change, scheduled for November 2017 in Bonn, Germany. This framework will provide for a common industry vision and serve to align chocolate and cocoa companies’ individual sustainability plans.
Given the vital role that smallholder cocoa farming plays in providing for employment and income in local communities, efforts to end deforestation and forest degradation must be done in a socially sustainable manner that avoids abrupt removal of cocoa farmers and their family members from agriculturally productive lands without making provisions for them to access viable alternative sources of employment and income. In all of our efforts, we understand the critical need for a balanced and comprehensive approach.
In addition to our work with the ISU, over the past several years Blommer has incorporated various sustainable activities and partnerships with an anti-deforestation focus into our Sustainable Origins platform.
- Blommer joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2013. The RSPO is the leading organization in the palm industry addressing the issue of deforestation. (www.rspo.org)
- Blommer began our partnership with the Rainforest Alliance (RA) in 2008. We were recognized with RA’s “Sustainability Standard-Setter” Award in 2012 and their "Corporate Sustainability Champion” Award in 2017. The Rainforest Alliance’s mission is biodiversity conservation. (www.rainforest-alliance.org)
- In the Ivory Coast, Blommer’s sustainability programs have introduced over 250,000 non-cocoa shade trees into the farming communities to help build agricultural diversity.
Blommer Chocolate will continue to work towards sustainable deforestation across all farming communities and will communicate this work through our website. (www.blommer.com/sustainableorigins.php)
CA Transparency Statement
On February 14, 2018, a California Superior Court judge in San Francisco approved a settlement resolving claims that have lingered for years over whether certain levels of lead and cadmium in chocolate require warnings under California's stringent "Proposition 65" law.
The settlement was negotiated by the non-profit consumer advocacy group As You Sow and leaders of the chocolate industry, including Blommer Chocolate Company, over the past year.
The settlement has two main components:
1. Guidelines. It establishes clear and sensible guidelines for chocolate and cocoa companies to follow when selling their products in California. Specifically, such products that meet the following guidelines regarding lead and cadmium content do not need warning labels. Compliance is required by February 14, 2019.
|Up to 65%||0.100 ppm||0.400 ppm|
|65% to 95%||0.150 ppm||0.450 ppm|
|<95%||0.225 ppm||0.960 ppm|
Please note that this covers only the chocolate or cocoa component. Finished candies manufactured using our products will still require Prop 65 compliance.
2. Study. It creates a joint study to investigate and report on the main sources of lead and cadmium in chocolate products. The experts who conduct the study will also make findings and recommendations on feasible measures that may be taken, if any, to meaningfully reduce levels of lead and cadmium found in chocolate products. The experts' findings will be published in a public report and are expected to further the dialogue between As You Sow and the chocolate companies. It is important to follow the study, and be aware that the settlement contains default drop down levels that may go into effect in 2025, and they are as follows:
|Up to 65%||0.065 ppm||0.320 ppm|
|65% to 95%||0.100 ppm||0.400 ppm|
|<95%||0.200 ppm||0.800 ppm|
3. Customer Protections. The settlement also provides protection for customers of Blommer. The protection is in the form of a “downstream release,” which means that any entity that is purchasing products from Blommer also is released from any liability under Proposition 65 for the lead or cadmium in the product as long as those levels are within the limits described above.
The safety and wholesomeness of our chocolate has always been a top priority for Blommer Chocolate. We will continue to strive to provide a quality, safe product.
Please note that this statement supersedes previous Prop 65 and Heavy Metal Statements.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me at 215-541-2419.
Blommer Chocolate Company
Palm Oil Sustainability Statement
Thank you for your interest in palm oil sustainability. As this issue continues to be in the forefront of the news, many customers have asked about the sustainability status of Blommer Chocolate’s supply chain on tropical oils. Be assured that Blommer Chocolate is committed to sourcing palm oil in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Blommer has a long history of supporting cocoa community sustainability, beginning in the 1950s when our founder, Henry Blommer, began what is now the World Cocoa Foundation. As North America’s largest processor of cocoa beans and ingredient chocolate products, we recognize that principled purchasing practices can have a significant impact on communities and the world.
We are in the process of formalizing a sustainability plan for palm oil to ensure our customers will meet the industry mandate of sourcing 100% certified sustainable palm oil by 2015. These goals fit in with what we already embrace and believe in, so we are happy to expand our focus to this area.
To further reinforce the development of sustainable practices:
- Blommer has a solid track record of demonstrating our passion and commitment to sourcing sustainable cocoa and supporting the efforts of farmers while preserving the environment
- We are expanding our focus on responsible and sustainable sourcing practices to include palm oil
- We currently only source oil from suppliers who are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)
- We are in the process of evaluating our supply chain to determine how to best meet our sustainability goals as we move forward
We will continue to provide updates as we meet our goals and progress forward. We welcome your comments on this initiative, as we all share the same goal in sustainable palm oil sourcing practices.
Blommer Chocolate: RSPO Membership
RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry - oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation NGOs and social or developmental NGOs - to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.
Production to RSPO Principles & Criteria for sustainability means that your production meets the world's most stringent criteria for sustainable production. RSPO certification of such production is evidence to the world of the strict standards you subscribe to and your commitment that the agriculture you practice should be sustainable.
Check our progress at www.rspo.org