Quick reads

Sustainable chocolate tastes better!

Alisson De Leenheer
14 December 2018
The Belgian chocolate sector met in early December in Antwerp with minister Alexander De Croo to sign the Beyond Chocolate partnership.


A sustainable chocolate

The Belgian initiative, launched by the Minister for Development Cooperation, Alexander De croo, aims to make chocolate sustainable. How? By struggling child labour, deforestation and ensuring a decent income for cocoa farmers. The reputation of Belgian chocolate is well established, but its sustainability counts too.


A large number of signatories

The partnership was a real success and many actors have committed themselves to it. In particular, there are non-Belgians in the chocolate sector such as Callebaut, Mondelez or Mars; but also NGOs such as WWF or Oxfam; supermarket chains such as Carrefour, Lidl, Aldi, etc. Three Belgian trade unions, universities, social investors and labels such as Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance were also present.

In addition, the partnership remains open to all those who wish to do so. Indeed, it is important that each actor is committed to achieving better conditions of sustainability throughout the supply chain. 


Stop deforestation

The signatories undertake to cooperate on a wide range of challenges related to sustainable chocolate, in accordance with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The main challenge is to stop deforestation in the two largest cocoa-producing countries, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. Indeed, deforestation due to cocoa cultivation is estimated at about 2 to 3 million hectares between 1998 and 2008, or about 1% of global deforestation during this period. Let's get it there by 2030!



Belgian chocolate in a few figures


  • Every year, more than 300,000 tonnes of cocoa beans are imported into our country via the port of Antwerp.


  • The sector represents an annual turnover of nearly 5 billion euros.


  • No less than 500 companies are active in the chocolate processing industry.


  • Almost 600,000 tonnes are exported by Belgian chocolate makers annually throughout the world.


  • Belgium is the second largest exporter of chocolate in the world.


For more information, please read the press release

Chocolate Fair trade Forests