Valrhona Sustainable Approach

We work hand-in-hand with our producers and customers not only to make products that look and taste great, but also to make the cocoa industry fair and sustainable.
We are proud to have been awarded B Corp certification, joining a community of businesses working daily to do the right thing for our world.

Together, Good becomes Better

Staying true to our values, making our mission the solid foundation on which all decisions are made, while also setting an example to be followed tomorrow: this is the real lesson of 2021.
We want to inspire a collective movement that unites everyone in the cocoa, chocolate and culinary industries around a fair, sustainable cocoa sector and gastronomy which tastes great, looks great and does great things for the world.

Our mission: the roadmap for tomorrow

It has become clear that with a mission that so greatly influences every part of the company, in our capacity to innovate products and new services, in the structure of our organization as well as in our relationships with our stakeholders, it was time to transform our annual CSR report into a report on our corporate mission “Together, good becomes better”.


Live Long Cocoa

Our two major ambitions are improving cocoa producers’ living conditions and protecting the environment. Long-term partnerships, traceability, community support projects, and actions to boost producer income are just some of the ways we are working towards this goal.

The cocoa sector faces major challenges, which is why we are building our ambitions around three major axes:

  • improving the living and working conditions of farmers

  • protecting the environment

  • preserving the soil and flavors

These pillars focus on major commitments, such as improving the incomes of farmers and their families, fighting against all forms of forced labor, particularly child labor, protecting forests and biodiversity, and our ambition to be carbon neutral by 2025. 

In order to achieve these objectives, we are setting up long-term partnerships with women and men who share our values working in the field within cocoa-producing companies or cooperatives. We have developed direct relationships in 14 countries around the world. At Valrhona, we work to create a fair and sustainable cocoa sector by building close, mutually beneficial relationships with our 17,215 cocoa producers. We do this by forging long-term partnerships with producer organizations who share our vision and focus on quality and traceability. From the construction of housing and schools to the protection of rare cocoa varieties, the projects we carry out together reflect our commitment to producing communities and the environment.

At Valrhona, 100% of our cocoa is traced from our 17,215 producers around the world. This traceability is the basis for creating a fair and sustainable industry. It allows us to know where our cocoa comes from, who harvested it and under what conditions. This helps to improve the living and working conditions of producers and to fight against deforestation, while guaranteeing the quality of our cocoa beans.

Improving living and working conditions. Understanding the needs of our farmers is at the heart of what our team does every day. These needs come from our partners who we rely on to make sure our activities are relevant and legitimate.

Education and combatting child labor. Child labor is a major problem facing the entire cocoa and chocolate sector. Due to our belief that to have the greatest impact any action must be collective, we joined the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) in 2017. The ICI is a foundation dedicated to protecting children in cocoa-growing communities which works to ensure a better future for children and their families.
Key figures:
4 schools were built or renovated in 3 countries (Ghana, Ivory Coast, Venezuela)
20 classes welcomed 672 students in good educational conditions


Live Long Environment

     Valrhona is committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2025 for our whole value chain from plantation to dinner plate. To meet these goals, we work to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, and to offset our remaing footprint through reforestation initiatives such as the Cacao Forest Program.
     Our environmental challenges.
Our activities – from growing cocoa to selling chocolate – have an impact on the environment. At Valrhona, we are committed to minimizing these impacts. This makes sense from a commercial point of view, but also and most importantly to guarantee us a healthy future and a healthy planet.
   This is why we mainly focus on contributing to global efforts to achieve carbon neutrality. We strive to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions   by reducing the carbon footprint of our chocolate factory and our transport-related emissions, as well as by combatting deforestation and  promoting sustainable agricultural practices.
    We are actively working to minimize our environmental impact, including reducing waste, using renewable energy and designing our products with the environment in mind. We ensure that our chocolate factory complies with the most stringent environmental regulations.

Carbon Neutrality. The climate crisis is the greatest challenge of our time. At Valrhona, we know that the future of our planet, not to mention our company, depends on our ability to put the climate first in everything we do – every decision, every action, every investment.
We are committed to doing everything we can to help the world achieve carbon neutrality and thus keep global warming below 1.5°C (2.7°F).
To do this, we measure our carbon footprint, reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible and contribute to global carbon capture efforts.

Energy. Processing cocoa into chocolate requires a lot of energy. If we want to reduce our carbon footprint, it is essential to improve our energy consumption. We are committed to reducing the amount of energy we use to make our chocolate and to promoting the use of renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. As part of our efforts to be an exemplary manufacturer in terms of energy consumption, we are proud to say that for the past four years, 100% of our electricity has come from certified purchases of hydroelectric power. Through these energy purchases under Guarantee of Origin Certificates, we help finance the renewable energy sector.

Water management. Minimizing our environmental footprint also means reducing our water consumption in our industrial activities. In the manufacturing of its chocolates, Valrhona strives to limit its environmental impact, pollution and resource consumption. We are now devoting particular attention to our water usage, with the specific objective of cutting our 2013 consumption rates in half by 2025.

Waste management. As a business that uses raw ingredients to make chocolate, we are making every effort to limit the amount of waste we produce and improve the ways we recycle and recover. Our objectives for 2025: to achieve our target of recovering 100% of our waste, while cutting in half the amount we generate as compared to 2013. In 2021, through the efforts of our teams, we were able to recover 100% of the waste from the stone picking workshop. Since February, 27 tons of leaf residue, pieces of wood and other plantation waste have been transformed into compost, when in the past they would have simply been buried. This effective measure, among others, has enabled the company to increase its rate of waste reuse from 80% in 2013 to 91.3% in 2021. This means that for a kilogram of waste produced, 652g was used as raw material for another product (co-product), 255g was recycled or reused, and 12.5g was recovered for energy.

Eco-design. Our aim is to offer our customers increasingly responsible products. Our stakeholders judge our products’ quality and sustainability by their ingredients and recipes – but also by the packaging and materials they use. Valrhona is working to ensure its products have an environmental design that completely lives up to customer expectations while also reducing our impact on the planet and its natural resources.

Transport. In order to limit its direct emissions, Valrhona has also adopted a transport policy that supports the reduction of GHG emissions linked to employee travel. This approach also applies to the transport of our goods around the world, particularly by air. Since November 2019, we have been participating in the French government’s FRET21 initiative to reduce our transport emissions, including, for example, minimizing air freight transportation. In 2021, we started using trucks running on fuel made from rapeseed oil in partnership with the transportation company MARTIN. These trucks produce 60% less CO2 than “conventional” trucks. As a result of its use in 2021, we were able to save 32 tons of CO2.

Protecting the forest and its biodiversity. We are committed to protecting the forests in the 15 countries where we source our cocoa. We know that tropical farming, including of cocoa, is one of the main causes of deforestation and biodiversity loss. This environmental damage not only contributes to climate change, but also threatens the future of our producers and supply chain.  This is why we must ensure the conservation of the environmental heritage of producer countries and work with our cocoa-producing partners to promote responsible farming.

Preserving the soil and flavors. We aim to maintain the diversity of the tastes we offer. The soil, climate, genetic diversity of plants and human expertise shape the tastes and subtleties of agricultural products. Participating in sustainable sectors also involves preserving and identifying new tastes and cocoa varieties that are part of the national heritage of our partner countries. These projects help create jobs in rural areas and boost the agricultural sector. For us, these projects will also be sources of innovation in order to offer new chocolates and inspire our customers.


Live Long Gastronomy

Gastronomy is part of Valrhona’s DNA, and now needs to undergo a reinvention to live up to its sustainable development goals. We believe that it’s our responsibility to guide
professionals towards more sustainable practices as they create a cuisine that is as meaningful as it is ethical.

A creative and ethical gastronomy. At Valrhona, we know that gastronomy is a source of delight. We also believe that how we feed ourselves has an impact on biodiversity, the climate and public health. We believe that chefs have the ability to influence our consumption habits. It is through this power that together we can have a positive impact on our planet, our food and our future.
Increasingly, chefs are taking steps to integrate their social and environmental impact into their creations. We want to support them in this approach and thus create a world of gastronomy that, as well as being good and beautiful, also makes the world a better place.

New tools for sustainable sweet cuisine. The sweet cuisine sector faces specific sustainability challenges. However, there was no framework for sharing best practices, nor for gathering advice that could guide chefs and pastry makers in their efforts to improve their craft. In 2021, our ambition was to remedy this. By working with Food Made Good, Valrhona’s official sustainability partner, as well as 30 chefs from 12 different countries, we are proud to have created two support tools for professionals:
-a guide with practical advice
-and a self-assessment tool to commit to more sustainable sweet cuisine

A school and committed chefs. L’École Valrhona is the center of expertise for chocolate and pastry making that brings together the biggest names in sweet cuisine from all over the world. We sustainably promote excellence, innovation and the teaching of its sector expertise. As a group of chef instructors, our ambition is to share our know-how and our vision with our colleagues. Every day, we are committed to promoting creative, inclusive and ethical gastronomy so that, together, we may take action and push back the boundaries of gastronomy.

Our subsidiaries are committed to culinary arts. Whether in Spain, Japan, China, South Africa, Asia-Pacific or Italy, Valrhona's subsidiaries are involved in the field, carrying out projects in partnership with gastronomy professionals and with local associations.


Live Long Together

We want to invent a sustainability model with our stake holders by helping producers and customers to overcome their challenges and creating a business where our people
love to work. We are acutely aware that this will only become a reality if we work together in a spirit of coproduction – which is exactly how we will roll out our action plan.

Valrhona’s strength lies in our ability to innovate and in our relationships with the men and women around us: our farmers, our employees and our customers.

The driving force behind our business. Valrhona is part of a community. Only by innovating alongside all our stakeholders, listening to their needs and working with them can we achieve our mission: “Together, good becomes better.” We build and maintain these relationships in a variety of ways, including regular satisfaction surveys and focus groups with our employees, customers and suppliers, as well as discussions with NGOs, professional bodies and other companies.

Committed innovation. In 2021, we launched three new products that perfectly embody Valrhona’s commitments to create a fair and sustainable cocoa sector and inspire creative and sustainable gastronomy.
OABIKA: the cocoa juice concentrate
MILLOT 74%: the first organic chocolate Grand Cru from Millot plantation
AMATIKA 46%: the first Vegan Grand Cru made in the plantations of Madagascar

Employees. Valrhona's mission can only be achieved if its strategy is built and deployed in a logic of co-development and synergy with Valrhona's major stakeholders.
We involve the latter throughout our value chain, taking into account their expectations and the challenges of our businesses, starting with our employees.

Suppliers. As a buyer, it is Valrhona’s responsibility to understand the sector and successfully manage every different aspect of our supply chain. We have therefore forged strong relationships with our suppliers so that we can co-create a sustainable value chain, long-lasting trust-based relationships, and a shared approach founded on continuous improvement. Valrhona has its duty to raise suppliers’ awareness about future issues and sustainable practices, as it is this that will enable them to support our company’s development.

Customers. It is Valrhona’s responsibility to satisfy every type of customer, whatever their needs. Valrhona’s 40,000 customers expect not just unique, top-quality products but also, in an increasing number of cases, real support and greater information about the food industry of tomorrow. Valrhona is doing everything in its power to meet these needs by working with others to create a responsible industry, right down to the consumer level.

Click here to read our full mission report


Now made with Sunflower Lecithin

Products containing lecithin are now made with sunflower instead of soy, for a more sustainable Valrhona. 

  • Unlike sunflower, soy is a major allergen.
  • Sunflower lecithin is more traceable, and there is no risk of it containing GMOs. Worldwide crops of soy are usually genetically modified, although Valrhona has always bought soy lecithin guaranteed to be GMO-free.
  • Sunflower seeds are available locally: Sunflowers are grown throughout Europe and the United States, and the lecithin is produced stateside or in France. Soy lecithin, on the other hand, most often comes from India or Brazil.
  • It's better for the environment than soy lecithin: Growing sunflowers for lecithin uses fewer chemicals. No extensive deforestation has been observed in Europe for cultivation, and producers’ living conditions are better



live long