Ritter Sport's road to its own sustainable cocoa
In 2012 RITTER SPORT did not just celebrate its 100th anniversary, it also marked a new chapter in its commitment to sustainability in Nicaragua. RITTER SPORT purchased land in the eastern part of the country and is now actively involved in the sustainable cultivation of cocoa. The goal is as clear as it is ambitious: cocoa that has been cultivated in an ecologically and socially responsible manner.
With 2,500 hectares, this is one of the largest cocoa plantations in the world. Cultivation is subject to standards that allow the plantation to be certified according to UTZ Certified or Rainforest Alliance as soon as it is literally bearing fruits. The first harvest is expected in 2017.
Purchasing land and becoming involved in the sustainable cultivation of cocoa is the most effective way for a medium-sized company like RITTER SPORT to have maximum influence over the ecological and social conditions in cocoa cultivation.
What was once fallow land is now a model plantation which is forested according to agroforestry standards. Maintaining the existing forests and swamplands as well as building animal bridges will safeguard the biodiversity in the region. The land is cultivated based on the principles of integrated agriculture, which includes, for example, energy efficiency, preventing climate-relevant emissions, sustainable soil fertilisation and biodiversity.
In addition to ecological aspects, social issues in cocoa cultivation are the other main reason for RITTER SPORT being actively involved. High safety standards, medical care, extensive further education measures and pay above the minimum wage in Nicaragua guarantee fair and safe working conditions.
Thus, EL CACAO is the logical result of almost 25 years of RITTER SPORT's commitment in Nicaragua. The company has been supporting small Nicaraguan farmers to sustainably cultivate cocoa since 1990.