15 Jun 2022
Better Planet and Better Health are important ambitions to us at Puratos, and so are fundamental pillars of our sustainability strategy. But for us, people always come first. After all, it is only through the united efforts of people around the world that we can we live up to our promises.
Inclusivity is integral to our Better Life philosophy and, as a global business, our aim is to create a sustainable social future for all. That’s why we work in close harmony with the communities we are a part of, be it sharing our knowledge and skills or investing in sustainability programs that improve living conditions or livelihoods.
We’re proud to be forging opportunities and helping to transform lives – and our latest Sustainability Report offers further insight into how we are doing just that, and what we’ve achieved over the past year. Read on to discover the role of social development in our sustainability objectives and how our efforts are helping to shape a better life for today’s generation, and the next.
Puratos’s vision is to create more value for society by tackling the issues of inequality and unequal access to educational resources, living income and healthcare. With a clear mission to educate and elevate, we launched two foundations back in 2016; The Bakery Foundation and The Next Generation Cacao Foundation.
The Bakery Foundation offers quality education to underprivileged youngsters in developing countries, while the Next Generation Cacao Foundation contributes to the social, economic and environmental development of cocoa farmers and communities that are part of our Cacao-Trace™ program.
Since their inception, both these foundations have provided life-changing opportunities for individuals and their families around the world, helping to break the generational cycle of poverty, raising living standards and enabling social mobility.
We established our Bakery Foundation to teach youngsters in developing countries the skills needed to work in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors, after identifying a gap in the market. In these countries, we observed a community of young people with poor economic prospects on one hand, and increasing demand for finished goods such as cakes, pastries and chocolates on the other – and saw an opportunity for social growth.
As a global leader in the sector, we were in the unique position to offer students the means to learn high-quality skills from best-in-class faculty members, as well as the opportunity to be hired by top-class employers in the bakery and hospitality sector. And that’s exactly what we did. To date, we have opened six Bakery Schools in India, Brazil and Mexico, South Africa, Romania, and the Philippines and 200 graduates have been employed by Puratos or one of our clients.
Our achievements and activities continue to gather pace. In 2021, we launched our latest Baking School in the Philippines and €507k was invested into our bakery schools. Furthermore, almost 100 students graduated last year; 33 in Brazil, 24 in South-Africa and 32 in India.
We plan to build on this success by opening a new bakery school every year. The goal? To have 1,000 students in education in our schools around the world, helping us to reach more communities and positively impact more lives.
The Next Generation Cacao Foundation is the not-for-profit organization behind the Cacao-Trace™ program. With Cacao-Trace™ we brought to life an integrated sustainable cocoa program. A package of initiatives, including education, training, fair and premium pricing, it was designed to create a better life for farmers. As well as providing tools and training to increase yields and enable higher incomes through better quality cocoa, we want to ensure farmers receive a fair share of the value that is created in the chocolate supply chain.
The Foundation achieves this by distributing an annual “Chocolate Bonus”, a premium paid by Cacao-Trace™ customers. Under this initiative, for every kilo of Cacao-Trace™ chocolate sold, 10 cents is directly returned to farmer communities through the Next Generation Cacao Foundation. This often adds up to the equivalent of an extra month's salary for these farmers. The running costs, certification fees and royalties are covered by Puratos, guaranteeing that 100% of the money goes back to the Cacao-Trace™ farmer communities.
In 2021, Puratos distributed a total bonus of €1,007,809 to its Cacao-Trace™ farmers – an increase of 138% from 2020. In collaborating with the local communities that are part of our Cacao-Trace™ program and with the support of the Chocolate Bonus, new schools, maternity facilities and infrastructure have also been built.
We remain committed to increasing our chocolate bonus reallocation, with an aim of reaching a €4 million annual Chocolate Bonus by 2025, as well as to safeguarding cocoa cultivation and future biodiversity. So, we can help secure a brighter future for farmers, their families and the wider community.
At Puratos, we know that in order to move the planet forward, we need to do so as a collective, one person, one family, one community at a time. People are at the center of our pioneering programs and we will continue to strive to effect real change and improve lives worldwide.