Weiss is a French chocolate maker with retail outlets across France. The company also supplies gastronomy professionals. Established in St Etienne in 1882, Weiss has maintained its ‘bean to bar’ philosophy and produces everything from one production site in the town which is also home to its retail ‘chocolate factory’ where shoppers can experience the art of chocolate making. Weiss uses its unique savoir-faire, which was rewarded in 2014 with the Living Heritage Company label (EPV), which recognizes French artisanal expertise.
Weiss is committed to a responsible sourced gastronomy by selecting with care its raw materials, making healthy ingredients and local suppliers its first choice. In parallel, Weiss is already working directly with some cocoa associations like Vietcacao to source the cocoa beans for its Vietnam origin.
Earthworm Foundation is helping Weiss to define its cocoa sourcing charter. Weiss does not own the estates where it sources its cocoa beans, but it wants to employ the same high standards for the farmers as it has for its own employees. We are helping Weiss to understand the cocoa industry and more about its supply chain to help build farmer resilience.
In 2020, we are working intensively on phase two: implementing recommendations identified during the field visits, through innovation and partnership. Investigating tools to verify progress on the ground. Communication of progress.
From July 2019 until January 2020 Earthworm Foundation spent time on the ground in Ghana, Ecuador and Grenada, engaging with suppliers and carrying out regional diagnostics, including crop quality, farmer income and forest conservation.
From March to September 2019 discussions were held with Weiss’ direct suppliers to socialise Weiss cocoa charter. Focused on understanding their level of traceability and examining the role of the middleman in farmer livelihoods.
Earthworm Foundation has co-created with Weiss its commitment to responsible cocoa supply and shared this ambition with their main suppliers. To build understanding of Weiss’ cocoa supply chain, we have focused on three sourcing areas: Ghana, Ecuador and Grenada. Meeting with farmers and traders and studying local dynamics has enabled us to build a greater picture of opportunities of transformation on the ground to meet Weiss’ standards for raw material sourcing. It is also helping us develop a concrete idea of innovations and partnerships that have to be built to have a responsible and sustainable supply chain that respects suppliers, the environment and continues to deliver a quality product. Weiss is supporting the Cacao forest programme in Dominican Republic, one of Weiss’s countries of origin. This agroforestry programme seeks to create innovative agricultural models to increase the organic cocoa quality, yield and farmers’ resilience while protecting the forest.
Millions of tonnes of cocoa beans are consumed annually to feed our global appetite for chocolate.
The chocolate industry supports millions of livelihoods. Yet increasing demand met by expansion into protected land is threatening ecosystems and fuelling complicated social issues such as and poor working conditions.