Over 120 of the products that we sell contain cocoa, which represents more than 5% of our total range. We are proud that, since April 2017, 100% of the cocoa we have sold has come from third party sustainably certified sources.

Cocoa is a valuable crop which is essential to the livelihoods of 40 - 50 million people. Produced in 62 countries worldwide, cocoa’s climate requirements mean that production is limited to within 20 degrees of the equator. 62% of the world’s cocoa is now grown in Africa, with the largest producing countries being Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The cocoa sector, however, is facing several challenges, including poor soil fertility, aging tree stocks and deforestation. Lidl is a founding board member of the Sustainable Cocoa Forum. Through this initiative we are working towards three main objectives:

  1. To improve living conditions of cocoa farmers and their families and to contribute to a secure living
  2. To conserve and protect natural resources and biodiversity in cocoa producing countries
  3. To increase cultivation and commercialisation of sustainably produced cocoa

We are taking a range of actions to ensure that we are supporting a sustainable future for the cocoa industry.


Our Commitment

We are committed to sourcing 100% of the cocoa used in our products from Fairtrade, UTZ or Rainforest Alliance certified sources.

The Lidl Procacao Project


Between 2012 and 2019 Lidl founded and promoted the Procacao Project in collaboration with GIZ (Society for International Cooperation) and the State Agency for Rural Development (ANADER) supporting the development of a cocoa training centre for cocoa farmers and enabling smallholder farmers to organise.

The program teaches cocoa farmers how they can grow cocoa in a more sustainable manner, while also increasing their yields by up to 150 percent. This project has helped train approximately 18,000 cocoa farmers in the Ivory Coast.

Way to go!


Lidl is the first global retailer to design and launch an own-label chocolate bar with the objective of directly supporting workers, smallholder farmers and local communities by increasing wages and promoting diversification.

We are committed to investing in products and business models that deliver greater returns to people working in the supply chain. 90% of the world’s cocoa harvest are grown by smallholder farmers. In Ghana, where a large proportion of the world's raw cocoa is sourced,  the average income of cocoa farmers is 52% of the living wage benchmark (2018).

Through our partnership with Fairtrade, the farming cooperative Kuapa Kokoo and the NGO Rikolto, Lidl pays an additional premium for every tonne of cocoa purchased from Ghana, that is used within the Way To Go! Chocolate bar, which is in addition to the standard Fairtrade premium. This premium is invested directly into programmes that enable farmers to increase their incomes, such as diversifying into other crops (rice, yams and honey), or training farmers on better agricultural practices (pruning and environmentally friendly pesticide use). Through these programmes, crop yields can be increased, ensuring greater income levels. In the first year, our project will reach 440 farmers, a quarter of whom will be women.

The Way To Go! chocolate bar has full traceability, allowing us to track the raw material flow of cocoa from a cooperative in Ghana, through to our end product, the ‘Way to Go!’ chocolate bar, available in Lidl stores in the UK from May 2020.

“Congratulations Lidl on the launch of the new ‘Way to Go!’ chocolate bars. We’re proud to have partnered with Lidl on this exciting new range that provides added value to farmers beyond the Fairtrade Minimum Price and Premium, through additional investment in the communities that are growing their cocoa. These delicious sweet treats, which we’re all looking forward to tasting, will be even more enjoyable knowing they are fully traceable, sustainable and improving the lives of cocoa farmers. Way to go Lidl!”

Catherine David, Head of Commercial Partnership - Fairtrade Foundation


Supporting women in the cocoa sector


In order to support women in the cocoa sector, who face specific barriers such as having limited access to land, resources and technology, we have directly trained 4,000 female farmers in the Ivory Coast as part of the Procacao project. Training programmes, which were delivered to female farmers through the Lidl Procacao project focussed on how to cultivate alternative agricultural products alongside their cocoa production, an important strategy to increase their resilience against market fluctuations or weather-related impacts.

Within Fairtrade supply chains, 86% of all cocoa farmers are based in West Africa, making it a vital source of certified cocoa. In the Ivory Coast, women are known to carry out 67% of the labour in cocoa farming while earning around 21% of the producer income. As one of the largest global retail buyers of cocoa on Fairtrade terms, Lidl contributes a premium for every tonne of cocoa purchased. These funds are democratically invested in various projects and programmes to improve productivity and quality as well as community programmes such as schools, medical centres and clean running water. These investments help to build resilience within cocoa supply chains, as well as empowering women to have a voice in their local community development.


Lidl GB are a member of the Retailer Cocoa Collaboration, a coalition of retailers formed in response to the broad challenges facing the cocoa sector, including deforestation, low incomes and child labour.

We recognise the need to go beyond certification. Through this pre-competitive group we aim to support existing industry efforts to drive improvements in the cocoa sector by engaging more closely with the supply chain, including the main traders of cocoa into Europe.  The first aim of the RCC is to measure the progress of traders on key social and environmental issues related to cocoa into within their supply chains. This process promotes transparency, encourages progress beyond certification and will ultimately enable systemic change at a key point in the cocoa supply chain.

Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing


We source 100% of our own brand black, green and rooibos tea from either UTZ, Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance third-party certification schemes. We recognise the social and environmental challenges facing tea production, and although we sell a small amount in comparison to the global output, we are committed to doing what we can to promote sustainable production.


Global demand for coffee continues to grow steadily, especially in Europe. However, what coffee farmers earn from selling coffee in parts of South America and Africa is frequently still not high enough to secure their livelihoods. As a major retailer we are aware of our responsibility to ensure that the coffee we sell is sourced in a sustainable manner that improves working conditions and tackles wider social challenges.

Fruit & Veg

Lidl GB is committed to sourcing fruit and vegetables in a responsible and sustainable way. This includes supporting the British farming economy and, when seasonally possible, sourcing fruit and vegetables from long-term British suppliers.

Plants & Flowers

Lidl GB is committed to British sourcing and, when seasonally possible, sources plants and flowers from long-term British suppliers. Due to the growth and nature of the horticultural industry, most of the plants and flowers grown within Europe come from the Netherlands and Italy, whilst a large portion of production takes place in countries where climate conditions are more favourable to grow flowers all year around such as Colombia, Ecuador, Kenya and Ethiopia.


In the EU, around 90% of soy is used to feed livestock, so it is a vital raw material in the production of our meat, poultry, dairy and eggs. Environmental impacts of soy in countries such as Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay include soil erosion and degraded pastureland, biodiversity loss and carbon emissions.

Wood & Timber

Increasing global demand for low-cost timber products supports a multi-billion dollar business of illegal and unsustainable logging in forests worldwide. The world’s natural forests cannot sustainably meet this soaring global demand for timber products under weak forest management practices, making it critical that we take action to ensure that the wood-based fibres used in our products and packaging are from sustainable sources.


Throughout every Lidl non-food collection, clothing, accessories and home textiles are a core element. As a major buyer of these products, Lidl has a great responsibility when it comes to living, working and environmental conditions in manufacturing countries.

Palm Oil

Palm oil is best grown near the equator, with Indonesia and Malaysia being the major producing countries for the global export market. When grown in a non-sustainable way, palm oil can lead to devastating deforestation and harm to the natural environment. We are committed to sourcing all of our palm oil from third-party sustainable sources.


Bananas are one of our most popular products, grown and produced in countries on the equator and shipped into the UK every day. As bananas can be grown by both smallholder farmers and on large plantations, it is important that we understand our supply chains well to make sure we are able to support sustainable and ethical production in the most appropriate way.


At Lidl GB, our principles of responsible fish and seafood sourcing are to ensure that the fish sold within our product ranges are sourced from the healthiest stocks possible using the least destructive fishing methods, with high regard for both environmental and social standards. Safe-guarding fish stocks for the future is an issue we are passionate about and we are proud of the progress we have made.

Animal Welfare

Through our partners including Red Tractor and RSPCA Assured, alongside animal welfare focussed NGO's, we have specialised contacts placed throughout the industry that can help advise and help action continuous improvement.
We have created strong supplier relationships through our lean buying practices and by championing British farming, we are able to provide product with leading-welfare standards, at an affordable price.