Critical raw materials: maximal care for minimal risks.

The cultivation of agricultural raw materials requires a great deal of space, and it has an impact on humans, animals and nature. That is why we choose our producers along the value chain very carefully: we prioritise the gentle use of natural resources and conduct fair business relationships under socially agreeable conditions.

HALBA’s procurement strategy attaches particular importance to the way in which critical raw materials are utilised. These materials are of enormous economic importance for HALBA as a production company, but their cultivation and processing come with increased social and environmental risks. Heightened diligence is a must.

As a division of the Coop Cooperative HALBA refers to the list of critical raw materials used by its parent company, Coop. HALBA has classified 18 raw materials as critical:

  • Cocoa: cocoa beans, cocoa derivatives (cocoa butter, cocoa powder, etc.)
  • Nuts: hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, peanuts
  • Dried fruit: sultanas, apricots, mangoes
  • Grain / pulses: quinoa, beans
  • Other fruits and vegetables
  • Fats and oils/emulsifiers: coconut oil and coconut snacks, soya lecithin
  • Sugar: cane sugar
  • Animal raw materials: milk, eggs

As part of an extensive due diligence check in 2023, HALBA performed an in-depth risk analysis in collaboration with an external consultancy company, which made it possible to review existing results and to perform a detailed investigation of human rights and environmental risks throughout the HALBA supply chains. The analysis confirmed the definition of the existing critical raw materials and added three further ones: cane sugar, peanuts and pistachios.

Social and environmental requirements for procurement are described in the Coop's Sustainable Procurement guidelines. These guidelines and HALBA's Procurement Policy apply to procurement and to all suppliers that grow, process and supply raw materials for HALBA. The Policy relates to all raw materials, specifically the critical raw materials defined by HALBA. As a division of the Coop Cooperative, HALBA also draws on the Coop Due Diligence Policy and the HALBA Due Diligence Policy and Action Plan when fulfilling its due diligence obligations.

Certifications play a key role when dealing with critical raw materials and lay the initial foundations for compliance with environmental and social conditions in the country where the raw material is produced. Compliance is monitored by independent third parties.

A high proportion of critical raw materials used for chocolate, snacks and baking and cooking ingredients are already certified according to a sustainability standard:

HALBA has set itself the goal of having at least one sustainability standard certified for 80 per cent by volume of critical raw materials by 2026.