News Sustainability Projects - October 2021
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Auna di Sotto (Bz), Loacker – the Alto Adige-based worldwide leader in the wafer market that is also specialized in the production of chocolate specialties – has launched four projects to verticalize the supply chains of the most important raw materials used in its products. The aim is to meet its need for top-quality ingredients and to keep the promise of goodness that it has made to its clientele, respecting both nature and the people involved in the entire production process.

The long-term Italian Hazelnut Orchards project was launched in 2011 to ensure the supply of 100% Italian hazelnuts, and it has incentivized the introduction of hazelnut orchards in new areas. Loacker currently grows some of the hazelnuts on its own estates of Corte Migliorina and Colle Lungo in Tuscany, and has signed long-term agreements with 80 farms in 6 different regions of northern and central Italy. The project thus also gives local farmers important alternative work opportunities. The use of herbicides is prohibited both on the Loacker estates and on the other farms involved in the project, and the company also ensures that only electric vehicles are used. Lastly, the exquisite hazelnuts are roasted in-house at Loacker.

The other three projects all started up in 2019, which was a watershed year for Loacker, from both this and other points of view. The first project involved the opening of a milk-drying plant in Vandoies, in Val Pusteria (Italy), where dried whey and skimmed milk are made from milk and whey that come exclusively from Alpine regions. These products, which contain no genetically modified organisms, are certified Kosher and Halal and are used for preparing Loacker’s delicious creams and fine chocolate. The milk mainly comes from small farms near the plant, which is strategically located midway between the Loacker facilities in Auna di Sotto and Heinfels. This avoids long freight journeys, making a further contribution to Loacker’s commitment to sustainability.

Madagascar Vanilla is a project to ensure the high quality of the precious Bourbon vanilla pods that are used in the creation of Loacker products. At the same time, it also guarantees that each stage of the supply chain meets precise standards of traceability, sustainability, and fairness. In order to achieve this, Loacker has launched a vanilla cultivation project in the Sava region, in the north of Madagascar, working directly with small groups of local farmers. With this project, Loacker also promotes a series of initiatives to foster the development of the three villages involved, through actions such as creating new plantations, making vegetable gardens, drilling water wells and setting up health facilities, as well as ecological activities such as cleaning rivers and collecting waste.

Lastly, the Loacker Sustainable Cocoa Farming Program aims to ensure it has only fair-trade chocolate, with the goal of guaranteeing specialties with 100% sustainable chocolate by 2030. In order to ensure a truly exceptional flavor, two different areas of cocoa cultivation have been selected: Côte d’Ivoire for “earthy” bulk cocoa and Ecuador for “fine flavor” cocoa, which has a finer, more refined taste. Here, Loacker works in the field, closely following every stage of the production chain, carefully selecting the communities to be involved in the program. In these countries, too, Loacker promotes local development, working on long-term projects together with co-operatives in the area.

With its four supply-chain verticalization projects, Loacker is thus able to offer its customers high-quality products with flavors that are unmistakably 100% natural.