Another reason is that the cost of cocoa butter has gone up significantly, so the different in cost between conventional and organic is getting closer, making it more accessible to companies that make frequent purchases. For Lush, developing cocoa sites around the world to purchase beans from directly will ensure traceability and in turn will positivity affect the local communities, it contends.
According to the company: “Conventional cocoa butter, for the most part is sourced from West Africa, most of this is not grown in a way that’s’ completely traceable as its sold at terminal markets and for the last 10 years there has been stories of indentured and child labor on cocoa farms in West Africa (for example, Ghana). Other industries have admitted to the fact that cocoa in Africa (i.e. the chocolate industry) has been harvested by slaves. Due to the fact that Lush was able to find a supplier that could meet the cocoa butter need and deliver Fair Trade Organic cocoa butter rather than conventional, the switch, while it took time, was a no brainer.
“For this reason most of all, Lush will be sourcing cocoa butter from cooperative farms in the Dominican Republic, which have strict regulations against child labor. This is only an intermediary step in the cocoa butter supply chain strategy. The long term vision is to contract beans directly from sustainable projects funded by Lush. By purchasing beans directly from these projects, it will allow Lush to contribute to the economic development and environmental renewal of regions for which organic and fair trade certifications are not practical or relevant.”