Monthly interview- June 2016

Lindt & Sprüngli

 “Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program for Cocoa from Ecuador”


  • The Lindt & Sprüngli Group is globally active in developing, producing and selling chocolate products in the premium quality segment. The holding company, ChocoladefabrikenLindt & Sprüngli AG, with headquarters in Kilchberg ZH, is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
  • Sustainability and socially responsible business conduct are central features of Lindt & Sprüngli’s corporate philosophy.
  • Mr. Ernst Tanner, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer “Our approach towards sustainability covers our entire value chain: It starts by engaging with cocoa farmers to improve agricultural practices and tackling issues such as poverty and child labor, continues to finding solutions for resource-efficient chocolate production and ends with the transparent communication to our customers”
  • The Lindt & Sprüngli Promise: “all products leaving our factories live up to our commitment to sustainable behavior along the value chain”
Dr. Piera Waibel

Dr. Piera Waibel



I am talking with Dr. Piera Waibel. She is the Managing Director Lindt Cocoa Foundation and Sustainability Manager Lindt & Sprüngli. And She is also one of the key speakers at our next seminar “Sustainability in Latin America” to take place in Zurich next 20.09.

Piera has been researching about and working with Sustainability Management for almost 15 years – with a focus on inclusive business solutions for agricultural and rural development. In her position at Lindt & Sprüngli and the Lindt Cocoa Foundation, she is responsible for the implementation of all activities related to sustainable raw material procurement. Piera holds a PhD and Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Zurich.


LBN: Could you please give us a little preview of what you will be talking about?

Dr. Piera Waibel: I will mainly talk about our ambitions in developing secure and sustainable supply chains for the high quality raw materials used in our chocolate production. My focus will be on Ecuador, where we are currently building up programs aiming at involving more than 6000 farmers.


LBN: Why Ecuador?

Dr. Piera Waibel: Ecuador is by far the largest producer of fine flavor cocoa worldwide. And we use a high proportion of fine flavor cocoa beans in our blends. It’s therefore also a focus country to work on reaching our commitment of having all our cocoa sourced from traceable and sustainable sources by 2020.


LBN: ¿Give me an example of one challenge /opportunity that Lindt identified for this project in Latin American?

Dr. Piera Waibel: An opportunity surely is that Ecuador is a lot more developed in terms of agriculture, infrastructure or education as for example Ghana, where we have our largest program. This makes the implementation of sustainability programs generally easier and faster. The challenge, on the other side, is that more and more farmers start switching to non-fine flavor cocoa varieties. We therefore put an emphasis on fostering the distribution of high yielding and disease resistant fine flavor cocoa varieties to farmers in the program.

LBN: How can I, as a consumer take part of this journey?

Dr. Piera Waibel: They can follow the progress we are making by reading our sustainability website or the sustainability report. And of course, it’s important to value and appreciate all the work that is behind a chocolate bar, especially also on the side of the farmers.