Ferrero’s activities to achieve sustainability along its hazelnut value chain include the traceability of this ingredient.
Our hazelnuts come mainly from Turkey, Italy, Chile and the USA. Ferrero is committed to achieving full traceability of its sourced hazelnuts in its hazelnut value chain. Traceability in Ferrero’s hazelnut value chain refers to being able to trace the hazelnuts back to their origin, either the individual farm or “farm cluster”. Achieving this commitment has been challenging in some countries where supply chains are larger and more complex. In other countries, higher levels of traceability have been reached. In Chile and the USA, for example, Ferrero has achieved full traceability.
Ferrero has published a Charter document dedicated to hazelnuts, which has been developed together with Earthworm Foundation. The Ferrero Hazelnut Charter outlines Ferrero’s requirements and commitments regarding the responsible sourcing of hazelnuts. The Charter is based on Ferrero’s selected priorities in three areas: Human Rights and Social Practices, Environmental Protection and Sustainability and Supplier Transparency, towards its aim to be a driving force behind a hazelnut industry that creates value for all. Central to enabling the implementation of the Charter will be Ferrero’s sustainability programme, Ferrero Farming Values (FFV) for hazelnuts, as well as partnerships and collaboration with suppliers, trusted partners and other value chain actors.
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The hazelnuts used in Nutella® come from hazelnut orchards, which are mainly found in Mediterranean type climates. Our hazelnuts come from different parts of the world, our main origins are Turkey, Italy, Chile and the USA. Turkey’s Black Sea region is the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts and as a consequence where we source the main part of our hazelnuts. Ferrero’s expertise and tradition with this fruit goes back to its roots in Italy, as supply can also be found in Piedmont - where Ferrero was founded - as well as in Lazio and Campania. The harvest takes place between the beginning of August and the end of September.
To ensure the availability of quality and fresh hazelnuts, cultivation also takes place in countries in the Southern Hemisphere to provide an additional harvest from February to March. As part of this approach, Ferrero has established hazelnut farms (Agrifarms) in Chile, Argentina, South Africa and Australia, in addition to Georgia and Serbia. Through these Agrifarms, Ferrero is developing a sustainable business model with local farmers, to share and promote good agricultural practices (nurseries, training, agronomic assistance, etc.). Discover more in Ferrero's latest Sustainability report here.
Sustainability in hazelnut sourcing
Ferrero’s vision towards sustainability aims to improve the conditions of the hazelnut communities where it operates.
The Ferrero Farming Values (FFV) program for hazelnuts has been operating in Turkey since 2012. Within this program Ferrero developed a hazelnut Production Standard in collaboration with SCS (Scientific Certification Systems) Global Services, a leading global certification and sustainability services provider. Through the Ferrero Farming Values (FFV) program, Ferrero works with farmers, mostly smallholders, to empower them with knowledge of good agricultural and social practices. Every year SCS Global Services, together with local auditing firms, carries out specific audits of farmers chosen at random. Across 2019 growing season, our teams visited more than 400 orchards a day and reached 21,211 farmers. The orchards that participated increased their yields by an average of 40-45% compared to the others orchards in the same areas. Ferrero has also collaborated with GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) to develop a Monitoring & Evaluation System in order to assess and report the progress and impact of social activities and interventions on the ground. This system reflects the collected data from different stakeholders including farmers, workers, labour brokers and community opinion leaders.
One of the countries where the hazelnuts that meet our high-quality standards are cultivated is Italy, and historically this has been in the regions of Piedmont, Lazio and Campania, therefore taking care of the sustainable value chain development and preservation in these areas is key. As part of its responsible sourcing plan, Ferrero has collaborated with the global assurance provider DNV GL since 2015. This partnership is helping Ferrero to develop concrete actions on the ground with both farmers and associations, including training and field assistance.
Ferrero’s first agrifarm, Agrichile, was established in 1991 in Chile, which has a favourable climate for hazelnut cultivation. The result of more than 25 years of Agrichile activity, combining the expertise of our agronomists and the high skills of Chilean farmers, has been the creation of a full value chain. Ferrero’s own production processes in Chile have been certified in 2019 under the Sustainably Grown standard by SCS Global Services, an accredited certification program. It provides assurance that hazelnuts meet several environmental standards, that farm workers and farm communities are protected and engaged, and that the farm is economically resilient.
We are also sourcing our hazelnuts from Oregon in the USA. Oregon has a long and well-established tradition (the first cultured hazelnut tree was planted in Scottsburg in 1858) and expertise in the cultivation of hazelnuts. Hazelnut cultivation in Oregon achieves the highest levels of traceability and is concentrated in the Willamette Valley in the north western part of the state, near the Pacific Ocean. The oceanic climate in this region is favourable to hazelnut cultivation and allows high-quality hazelnuts of North American varieties to be grown.
Joining forces with key stakeholders
At Ferrero, we take ethical practices, including better employment practices within the hazelnut value chain, very seriously. Ferrero actively participates in an extended Public-Private Partnership with CAOBISCO (European Association of Chocolate, Biscuits & Confectionery Industries) and the ILO (International Labour Organization) in Turkey, through a project that aims to contribute to the elimination of the worst forms of child labour in seasonal agriculture in hazelnut harvesting. Ferrero is also partnering with Earthworm Foundation, a non-profit organisation focused on positively improving value chains, on its responsible sourcing program for hazelnuts.