Nestlé said that its UK-produced chocolate brands are now sourcing cocoa mass exclusively from cocoa farming families enrolled in its income accelerator programme.

The brands using the traceable cocoa ingredients in the UK include KitKat, Aero, Quality Street, Yorkie, Rolo, After Eight, and Munchies.

Initiated in January 2022 based on the work of Nestlé’s Cocoa Plan, the income accelerator programme aims to uplift cocoa-farming families by bridging the income gap and reducing child labour risks.

Following a successful pilot with 10,000 families, the programme has now entered a scale-up phase in 2024, encompassing 30,000 families across Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

Nestlé plans to expand this initiative to impact an estimated 160,000 families in its cocoa supply chain by 2030.

According to the Swiss food and beverage major, the programme incentivises families to enrol their children in school, adopt sustainable farming practices, engage in agroforestry, and diversify their incomes. The programme is said to mark a strategic collaboration with expert partners and suppliers to achieve full traceability and physical segregation of cocoa sources.

This approach ensures “mixed identity preserved” traceability, allowing Nestlé to track cocoa beans from farm groups to factory while keeping them distinct from other sources.

At Nestlé’s York site, which annually processes 12,000 tonnes of cocoa ingredients for its popular brands, this development means consumers can soon access on-pack information via QR codes. These codes provide insights into how the Income Accelerator Programme supports cocoa farming families and their communities.

All cocoa used by Nestlé for chocolate in the UK and Ireland has been certified since 2015. The company plans to expand the use of segregated cocoa butter for KitKat production across 29 European countries throughout 2024, and to further regions in the future.