Choosing products that don't harm forests should be the norm, not an option. That's what Ferrero Group believes as it gears up for the new EU rules to stop deforestation. Ferrero, the company behind treats like Nutella and Kinder, feels ready for these changes. However, Francesco Tramontin, who looks after Ferrero's policies, says there could be tricky issues affecting how well these rules work.
As Europe gets ready for these new deforestation laws, it's clear that some food companies are more ready than others.
Ferrero stands out because it's always taken great care to know where its ingredients come from. The company has made good progress in tracking its cocoa and palm oil right back to where it was grown. This dedication to knowing its sources inside out shows in their reports: almost all their cocoa is tracked to its source, and all their palm oil meets the top standards for responsible growing.
For Ferrero, it's not enough just to know where things come from; it's about making sure their ingredients, like palm oil and cocoa, aren't coming from places where forests are being cut down. Tramontin wants these rules to be fair for everyone and make a difference. But it's not simple because the food industry has lots of small companies too, and they need to be able to follow the rules just like the big ones.
And for consumers, finding and choosing food that's good for the planet should be easy. This should be standard for all food, so Ferrero believes everyone in the industry needs to be able to follow the rules.
The law comes from the EU, but it's up to each country to make sure companies are doing things right. This means the rules have to work for different kinds of products and the various ways they're made and moved around. Tramontin says it's important for these rules to make sense for each type of product.
Countries that grow these ingredients also have a big part to play. If they don't follow the new rules, they might not be able to sell to Europe anymore. Ferrero has seen some positive steps in countries that grow cocoa but says there's still some doubt and that farmers need more help to keep up with these changes.
Ferrero also cares about hazelnuts, another important ingredient that isn't part of the EU deforestation law. Even so, Ferrero is working towards using hazelnuts grown in a way that doesn't damage the environment. They're pretty good at keeping track of where their hazelnuts come from, too.
No matter the ingredient, Ferrero's approach is about being responsible and knowing where everything comes from. Each ingredient might need a different plan, but the goal is the same.
What do you think about all this? How can companies, both big and small, deal with these new deforestation rules? Drop us a comment and let's talk about it.