Our approach

Raw material goals

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

Cocoa is a valuable crop essential to the livelihoods of 40-50 million people. Produced in 62 countries worldwide, its 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 sector faces several challenges however. These include poor soil fertility, ageing tree stocks and deforestation.

In response to these issues, we're acting to ensure we support a more sustainable future for the cocoa industry - through industry collaboration like the Sustainable Cocoa Forum and by launching products such as our Way To Go! chocolate bar.

Our Commitment

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

Raw materials - Cocoa

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!

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 - 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 projectreached 440 farmers, a quarter of whom were 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 which has been available in Lidl stores in the UK since May 2020.

Supporting women in the cocoa sector

Raw materials - Cocoa

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 is 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 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