Does Your Chocolate Come with a Side of Sustainability?

Corporations still have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to remain profitable, but fortunately a growing number of businesses—including those in the confectionery sector—have taken steps to influence positive social change. Does your new confectionery product symbolize the movement to support corporate social responsibility? If so, we want to hear from you as part of our 7th Annual SupplySide CPG Editor’s Choice Awards.

Josh Long, Associate editorial director, Natural Products Insider

July 10, 2018

3 Min Read
Does Your Chocolate Come with a Side of Sustainability?

There was a time when the raison d'être of corporations was simple: to rake in gargantuan profits. Corporations still have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to remain profitable, but fortunately a growing number of businesses—including those in the confectionery sector—have taken steps to influence positive social change.

Consider Cargill, the Minneapolis-based behemoth with annual revenues of nearly US$110 billion. In 2012, the company introduced its Cargill Cocoa Promise as part of a strategy to develop a sustainable cocoa supply chain and align efforts in its five cocoa-growing countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Indonesia, Ghana and Brazil.

Cargill’s approach has evolved since then.

“Today, the Cargill Cocoa Promise is not just about reaching cocoa farmers and improving their livelihoods,” the company explains on its website. “To make a real difference, we also need to safeguard the environment and improve the quality of life of cocoa-farming communities, as well as building consumer confidence through a more transparent supply chain.”

Cargill is committed to helping achieve sustainable development goals adopted in 2015 by the United Nations. Some of the lofty objectives include ending poverty and hunger, ensuring quality education and access to water and sanitation for everyone, and combatting climate change and its impacts.

In a 2017 annual report, Cargill reported engaging more than 600,000 people in nutrition education programs in 14 countries and enabling the delivery of roughly 3.7 million meals through food bank partnerships in 18 countries. The company also provided training to more than 650,000 farmers on agricultural best practices to help boost their productivity.

Cargill is hardly alone in its commitment to social change. Nestlé, for instance, has set ambitious goals to achieve by 2030, including helping “50 million children lead healthier lives” and aiming “for zero environmental impact” in its operations.

“Globally, food and beverage companies are realizing the importance of corporate social responsibility or CSR to move toward sustainability by delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for stakeholders,” my colleague, Judie Bizzozero, reported in a 2017 video on Food Insider Journal, profiling CSR measures adopted by the confectionery industry. “Corporate social responsibility is a broad concept that addresses many topics, such as human rights, corporate governance, health and safety, environmental effects, working conditions and contribution to economic development.”

Is your confectionery company committed to corporate social responsibility? If so, let us know what you’re up to as part of your new product submission for the 7th Annual SupplySide CPG Editor’s Choice Awards.

Our awards recognize innovative finished products launched to the U.S. consumer market between July 2017 and August 2018 in 30 categories across the supplement and food and beverage markets.

Products must be submitted by CPG brands or their representatives, not by ingredient or component suppliers. The submission deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018.

Winners are selected by the editors based on market innovation, consumer need, scientific substantiation, integrity and the “cool” factor. If your product ties in to corporate social responsibility, we’ll certainly consider that as part of our judging criteria.

Finalists will be showcased through the SupplySide Health & Nutrition Network brands, and winners announced live at SupplySide West in Las Vegas, Nov. 6-10, 2018.

For more than 20 years, SupplySide has helped those in the food, beverage, dietary supplement, animal nutrition, personal care and cosmetic industries break through the hype and ambiguity to find the information they need to explore, discover, innovate and market their next best-selling product.

Good luck with your submissions! We look forward to reviewing your cool, innovative and socially responsible products. See you in a few months at SupplySide West.

About the Author(s)

Josh Long

Associate editorial director, Natural Products Insider, Informa Markets Health and Nutrition

Josh Long directs the online news, feature and op-ed coverage at Natural Products Insider, which targets the health and wellness industry. He has been reporting on developments in the dietary supplement industry for over a decade, with a focus on regulatory issues, including at the Food and Drug Administration.

He has moderated and/or presented at industry trade shows, including SupplySide East, SupplySide West, Natural Products Expo West, NBJ Summit and the annual Dietary Supplement Regulatory Summit.

Connect with Josh on LinkedIn and ping him with story ideas at [email protected]

Education and previous experience

Josh majored in journalism and graduated from Arizona State University the same year "Jake the Snake" Plummer led the Sun Devils to the Rose Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes. He also holds a J.D. from the University of Wyoming College of Law, was admitted in 2008 to practice law in the state of Colorado and spent a year clerking for a state district court judge.

Over more than a quarter century, he’s written on various topics for newspapers and business-to-business publications – from the Yavapai in Arizona and a controversial plan for a nuclear-waste incinerator in Idaho to nuanced issues, including FDA enforcement of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).

Since the late 1990s, his articles have been published in a variety of media, including but not limited to, the Cape Cod Times (in Massachusetts), Sedona Red Rock News (in Arizona), Denver Post (in Colorado), Casper Star-Tribune (in Wyoming), now-defunct Jackson Hole Guide (in Wyoming), Colorado Lawyer (published by the Colorado Bar Association) and Nutrition Business Journal.

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