Sustainability commitments lead more LatAm brands to B Corp19 Jun 2023
A growing number of Latin American brands are becoming B Corp certified as they seek to address consumers’ sustainability concerns, from Colombia’s Luker Chocolate to Brazil’s Naveia and B.You Açaí.
With more consumers prioritising sustainability in their everyday lives in the fight against climate change, companies in Latin America are taking action to change and align with these needs.
This has led many brands to pursue certification as a B Corporation, which analyses a company’s balance between social and ethical standards in five impact areas: governance, workers, community, environment, and customers.
For example, Colombia-based chocolate manufacturer, Luker Chocolate, was recently certified as a B Corp, considered to be the highest standard for social corporate responsibility. It represents part of a growing movement in the region to put sustainability at the forefront of business to appeal to a larger global audience.
The brand said the B Corp certification will help them drive significant change in the cocoa industry by boosting farmer income, championing environmental protection and building a transparent supply chain.
Building a new LatAm economy
Standards for sustainable business practices have been improving in Latin America, and the desire for B Corp certification is increasing in popularity among local brands. As of 2023, there are more than 800 certified companies based in the region.
B Corp’s Latin America branch, Sistema B, has promoted the certification in the area since 2012 “in order to build a new economy, in which success and financial benefits include social and environmental well-being.”
“The B Corp movement has been gaining track in Latin America as more companies are joining in order to ratify their commitment to sustainability. As a B4B company looking to share Colombian chocolate products with the world, it was important for us to pursue this certification,” Luker Chocolate told Ingredients Network.
“Being a Certified B Corp reinforces the commitment we have had as a company since our origin to make the world a better place through our chocolate.”
Image credit: Luker Chocolate
There are several other food and beverage companies based in Colombia that have achieved B Corp certification, including coffee brands Devoción and Urbania Cafe, restaurant chain Crepes y Waffles and healthy snack brand Alcagüete.
And in chocolate and confectionery, prominent global brands that have achieved B Corp certification include Ben & Jerry’s, Tony’s Chocolonely, Divine Chocolate, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and Valrhona.
Boosting cocoa with B Corp
Luker Chocolate sees the B Corp program as an integral part of transforming the cocoa industry, which struggles with challenges like poor labour conditions, deforestation, and job insecurity.
Image credit: Luker Chocolate
“For Luker, the accreditation represents another step in a journey towards continuous improvement to help cocoa-growing communities towards a more prosperous future,” the brand said.
“Luker Chocolate also works to create shared value at origin, thus keeping more capital within Colombia and investing profits directly back into local communities.”
The B Corp certification aligns with Luker’s 2018 Chocolate Dream initiative, which “seeks to create a more significant, sustainable, and positive future for cocoa farming communities and the wider chocolate industry” by 2030.
The brand said that through education programs, schools and entrepreneurship initiatives, the Chocolate Dream has already enhanced the standard of living for over 3,000 families, surpassing the halfway mark of its 2027 target of 5,000 families. It has additionally protected more than 2,600 hectares of farmland, and is working towards 100% traceability to the farmer level to ensure no deforestation and no child labour occur in its supply chain.
“In the US in particular, we have seen a growing participation of brands who share these values and are looking for sourcing partners to help them grow responsibly,” Luker Chocolate said.
“We're excited to continue raising the standards for our industry and aligning people and the planet with profit and help them create exciting and unique chocolate products that have a positive impact in the world.”
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