The Full Story Behind Cocoa

Who in the world doesn’t like chocolate? Did you know that cocoa is predominantly farmed in tropical regions in developing countries, mostly on small farms, and it’s often the primary income for small-scale farmers?

For these farmers it’s difficult to earn a decent living. Their farms are small and they often lack the knowledge of modern farming techniques to prevent the deterioration of soil, to fight pests and to manage efficient crop rearing and harvests. They also face various social challenges: a lack of basic education impacts on their business decisions, which means they may not get the return on investment they deserve.  Children in these areas grow up in a world where there’s a scarcity of land, food insecurity and not enough potable water. Due to such factors, many farmers put their children to work in the plantations as a regular practice; to help reduce their labour costs and to pass on agricultural skills.

At Woolies we use a lot of cocoa in our products - from chocolates and biscuits to our delicious desserts. It is important to us that the cocoa we source contributes to the wellbeing of the farmers, their children and their communities.

Woolworths achieves 100% responsibly sourced cocoa target


    In line with our Good Business Journey programme, we make every effort to ensure that the food we sell is made in ways that positively benefit the people and places that produce it.

    When it comes to cocoa, we’re committed to using cocoa sourced only from verified, responsible sourcing programmes in all of our Woolworths chocolates and sweets, and indeed in any product that contains cocoa as an ingredient.

    Look out for our Responsibly Sourced Cocoa logo on packs.


    All of the cocoa required for our Woolworths branded chocolate boxes, Chuckles slab and bar chocolate ranges - as well as 100% of all of our products containing cocoa as an ingredient - are sourced according to our approved responsible sourcing programmes, which include Rainforest Alliance, Cocoa Life, Cocoa Horizons and Fairtrade.

    We have evaluated each one of these programmes to ensure they meet our requirements in that they:

    • Are third party independently verified or certified,
    • Promote more environmentally sustainable cocoa agriculture,
    • Promote farmer livelihoods and enhanced productivity,
    • Promote better labour conditions on cocoa farms,
    • Seek to benefit cocoa communities and the creation of a sustainable cocoa supply for future generations.
    • Transparently report on progress and impact


    • We started by sourcing 25% UTZ certified sustainable cocoa for Woolworths branded chocolates in October 2012

    • In 2016, we achieved our milestone target to source 100% mass balance UTZ certified sustainable cocoa in our Woolworths branded chocolate box, slabs and chocolate bar ranges
    • In 2018, UTZ merged with Rainforest Alliance

    • We have now committed to sourcing 100% mass balance sustainable cocoa and cocoa derivatives for all Woolies branded products across the entire food range, and are 98% on target