Beyond Chocolate is the Partnership for a sustainable Belgian chocolate industry. Partners in the initiative are working to end deforestation, stimulate education for future generations and provide a living income for cocoa growers.


Signatories of the Beyond Chocolate partnership commit to:

By 2025:

  • All chocolate produced and/or sold in Belgium shall comply with a relevant certification standard and/or shall be manufactured from cocoa-based products covered by a corporate sustainability scheme
  • “Beyond Chocolate” partners shall comply with applicable agreements between governments and companies in the regions included in the Cocoa & Forests Initiative

By 2030:

  • Cocoa growers will earn at least a living income
  • Deforestation due to cocoa growing for the Belgian chocolate sector has ended
How we reach these commitments

The cocoa-processing industry, chocolatiers, retailers and companies that are active in the Belgian chocolate sector will substantially intensify their investments into the sustainable development of the cocoa sector in the coming years. This is expected to lead to lasting improvements in the living standards and incomes of smallholder cocoa farmers and their families. Increased incomes enable cocoa farmers to invest in their farms and increase their productivity on existing land, mitigating the need to encroach tropical forest areas.

Beyond Chocolate convenes the Belgian cocoa stakeholders around these plot investments, sharing best practices and learning, in order to upscale change.


On 5 December 2018, a wide group of stakeholder’s active in the Belgian chocolate and cocoa sector committed to the joint ambition to end deforestation related to cocoa and to jointly strive for a living income for cocoa growers. The Beyond Chocolate Partnership was signed by stakeholders from the chocolate industry, public sector, NGO’s, retail sector, universities, trade unions, impact investors, labels and member organizations labels.

The Belgian chocolate industry is one of the world’s largest importers of cocoa beans. The main regions for sourcing cocoa beans for Belgian chocolate are Africa, Latin America and Asia. The Belgian chocolate industry relies on approximately 275,000 smallholder cocoa growers for its annual chocolate production.


IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative was appointed by the Belgian Ministry for Development Cooperation to coordinate investments, independently monitor progress, measure traceable impacts and communicate transparently on the partners’ mobilisation and results.

Program Documents





An Initiative of



Title Type Year
Beyond Chocolate AME Working Group Mandate Commitment 2020
Beyond Chocolate governance structure overview Brochure 2020
Beyond Chocolate Prospectus Brochure 2019
Beyond Chocolate Prospectus Annex 2 template concept note Brochure 2019
General Assembly Beyond Chocolate PowerPoints Presentation 2019
  • Els Haelterman

    Senior Program Manager, Belgian Sustainable Chocolate Program

  • Mark de Waard

    Program Officer, Cocoa

Signatories of the partnership