Cocoa Sustainability Update

On-demand Until December 15, 2021

Duration:60 minutes


Experts from chocolate suppliers Barry Callebaut, Blommer and Cargill will provide insight into how the industry is doing with cocoa sustainability. They’ll share examples and results from some of their initiatives, as well as a look into what the coming decade will bring. The panel will discuss some of the most important aspects of sustainability, including: climate change, child labor, and farmer poverty.

Learning objectives:
  • Cocoa sustainability initiatives and timelines
  • How suppliers are tackling climate change, child labor, and farmer poverty
  • Insights into the Living Income Differential, especially amid tumultuous cocoa futures markets caused by COVID
  • How suppliers work with local governments to address sustainability issues
  • How sustainability programs will evolve over the coming decade

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Kip Walk

Senior Director, Corporate Sustainability

Blommer Chocolate

Kip Walk is Senior Director, Corporate Sustainability for Blommer Chocolate. In this role, Kip created and launched Blommer’s award winning “Sustainable Origins” TM platform and leads the company’s global sustainability team in the development, implementation and management of programs in West Africa, Latin America and Asia. Additionally, Kip was recently selected to head up global cocoa sustainability for Blommer’s parent company Fuji Oil Holdings. In 2014, Kip expanded the Sustainable Origins program to include palm and PKO by committing 100% of Blommer’s supply to RSPO Certified product, making Blommer the first cocoa processor in North America to do so. Today, Kip is developing environmental and carbon footprint strategies to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. During his career, Kip has contributed to the industry serving as Chairman of Board for the World Cocoa Foundation, the Cocoa Merchants Association of America, the Board of Cocoa Graders for ICE Futures U.S. and for the National Confectioners Association’s Cocoa and Chocolate Regulatory Committee. Today, Kip serves as a subject matter expert to the World Cocoa Foundation for the industry’s watershed programs CocoaAction and the Cocoa and Forests Initiative.

Nicko Debenham

Vice President, Head of Sustainability

Barry Callebaut AG

Nicko Debenham was appointed in May 2014, as Barry Callebaut’s Vice President, Head of Sustainability and Managing Director of Biolands Group, additionally as Chairman to the Cocoa Horizons Foundation in 2015. Since December 2016, he helps guide Barry Callebaut’s Forever Chocolate Initiative which aims to make sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025; by eradicating child labor from the supply chain, lifting more than 500’000 cocoa farmers out of poverty, becoming carbon and forest positive and having 100% sustainable ingredients in all products. Nicko brings more than 32 years of experience working on cocoa value chain. In the 1980’s, he learned the business from scratch, working directly with cocoa farmers. He possesses unique expertise in sustainable development within the cocoa industry, in collaboration with governments, partners and NGO’s worldwide. Previously at Armajaro Trading Ltd. his responsibilities included Head of Africa for the Cocoa Division from 2002 to 2009, Director of Development & Sustainability from 2009 to 2013 and Director/Head of Cocoa. Nicko further served as Director and Chairman of Source Trust, managing globally all cocoa development and sustainability programs, also for Armajaro Trading Ltd., in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Caribbean. He was also Chairman of the World Cocoa Foundation for 2013/2014. Nicko Debenham plays a key role in bringing together pioneering knowledge from the cocoa industry to lead the strategic direction of the sustainability development programs, benefiting cocoa farmers’ families and their communities around the world.

Taco Terheijden

Director, Cocoa Sustainability

Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate

Taco Terheijden, Director cocoa sustainability at Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, is responsible for the Cargill Cocoa Promise – an important commitment to enable farmers and their communities to achieve better incomes and living standards. In his role Taco leads the sustainability strategy for the business by creating result-driven programs in close partnership with farmer organizations and suppliers around the world in origin countries, as well as with international food manufacturing customers and other stakeholders. This requires an in-depth understanding of the issues relating to the cocoa sector. During his tenure with Cargill, Taco spent time with his family in Ghana where his experience taught him the importance of designing scalable models that include farmer and community perspectives to enable the development of sustainable agricultural supply chains. He joined Cargill in 2000, starting on the cocoa trade desk in the Netherlands and later became the Commercial Manager during the start-up and commissioning phase of Cargill’s new cocoa processing plant in Tema, Ghana. He returned back to Amsterdam in 2010 and currently represents Cargill in various industry organizations on a national and global level. Taco holds a law degree from the University of Amsterdam.


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