popular award

Barry Callebaut: Forever Chocolate

Published 01 Jun 2020
Reference 6512
Region Africa
Length 27 page(s)
Language English
Prizes & Awards

Winner 2019 EFMD Case Writing Competition, Corporate Social Responsibility Category


Without action on sustainability, the supply of cocoa beans – and hence chocolate - cannot be maintained. Barry Callebaut (BC), the world’s largest B2B cocoa and chocolate company, has gone from taking little interest in “sustainable cocoa production” to embracing it fully. In 2016, it set four ambitious targets to achieve by 2025: to eradicate child labour from its supply chain, to lift more than half a million cocoa farmers out of poverty, to become carbon-and-forest-positive, and ensure 100% sustainable ingredients in all products. Recognizing that it could not bring about change in isolation, BC started a movement, “Forever Chocolate”, involving multiple stakeholders. Demonstrating that sustainability must be an integral part of doing business, the case describes its progress over the first two years and illustrates the difficulties encountered. It challenges students to consider whether BC’s approach constitutes “radical corporate sustainability” and what more could be done.

Teaching objectives

1. To explore issues underpinning the sustainability of the cocoa supply chain – farmer productivity, poverty, child labour, female empowerment, climate change, deforestation and corruption – and how they can be addressed by business. 2. To consider sustainability as a business challenge and how to drive such initiatives across the organization. 3. To show how the moral case for sustainability complements the business case. 4. To evaluate the role of bold targets and accompanying metrics in driving performance on sustainability. 5. To examine the difficulties of taking real, impactful action on sustainability—especially where it requires multiple stakeholders to identify and deliver solutions— and discuss the meaning of “radical corporate sustainability”. 6. To provide an opportunity for students to come up with specific solutions to the sustainability challenges in the case.

  • Sustainability
  • Cocoa
  • Chocolate Industry
  • Supply Chain
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Radical Corporate Sustainability
  • Industry Self-regulation
  • Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives
  • Child Labour
  • Poverty
  • Climate Change
  • Deforestation
  • Farming
  • West Africa
  • Q22020