Looking closer at cocoa

Behind the chocolate you love, there are tireless farmers who grow and produce the cocoa that makes it so special. But life for these farmers can often be a struggle from harvest to harvest. Through unfair trading conditions with big chocolate manufacturers, they have too few opportunities to take care of their families and their communities.

Darrell Lea knew this had to change.

Making the change

In 2019, Darrell Lea made the decision to move to 100% sustainable cocoa. We recognised that doing the right thing by cocoa farming communities was the right thing to do. To make it happen we turned to Cocoa Horizons, the award winning cocoa sustainability programme which we determined was clearly the best at delivering real impact.

With their focus on training and auditing, the opportunities we could bring together meant incredible positive changes to cocoa producing communities. Since then, we have never looked back.

Ensuring Sustainability

For over 12 months we were busy ensuring our contribution brought positive changes to developing cocoa farming communities. As part of this initiative, we pay a premium for 100% sustainably sourced cocoa and we adopted the Cocoa Horizons seal on all of our chocolate packaging to match our commitment.

We remain actively involved in ensuring our cocoa supply comes from ethical and sustainable sources economically, socially and environmentally.


Giving more of more

We didn’t just make sure buying cocoa delivers greater impact to cocoa farmers, we also bought more to put in our chocolate. That means they get even more of more. More cocoa, with more of a share, and more cocoa taste in the chocolate you love. It’s a win-win-win for everyone.

So now, when you choose Darrell Lea, you’ll know you’re getting a better quality product and the people who make it are getting a brighter future.


The way we see it, cocoa farmers are central to their communities with the ability to provide a product that the world goes crazy for. Our partnership with Cocoa Horizons provides training to farmers on how to increase their productivity and in turn, be able to provide more opportunities to their communities.

This covers everything from developing land fertility to maximising efficiency to increasing crop yields. With the power of knowledge, we know there’s a lot of potential to be found.


The economic benefits of sustainable cocoa flow on throughout the whole community and this is where the opportunities start to stack up. More productive farms means households can save and plan for the future, women can pursue other work opportunities and children can get an education instead of working on the farm.

All up, the increased security from sustainable cocoa makes for thriving communities that don’t have to rely on one source of income or worry about how they’ll get through the next harvest.


Teaching cocoa farming communities about good agricultural practices also means they don’t need to expand into new areas, and the mass deforestation that can come with that. With Cocoa Horizons, we provide them with the skills to manage their existing land well, so it can remain profitable for them well into the future.

Finally, the Cocoa Horizons initiative moves communities towards a carbon positive future. Together, we can make a difference that impacts the whole world.

The Future

In 2020, we’re leading the charge towards 100% sustainably sourced cocoa for the entire industry. We believe that if more customers are informed about where their chocolate comes from, they’ll add their voices to making this change to sustainable cocoa.

Join us as we take the next big step towards chocolate that’s a force for good in the world. Together we can make it better.

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