Ferrere Rocher is one of the most iconic products of the company Ferrero and is a go to product for many people. It is also used as gifts during the festival season. I think Ferrero is quite transparent in their methods and the effect it has on the environment. The ingredients they use in the product, scope 3 emissions due to manufacturing of those products are a huge problem and the company needs to work better on those issues.
The chocolate ferrero rocher consists of a whole roasted hazelnut encased in a thin wafer shell filled with hazelnut chocolate and covered in milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. The main ingredients used are hazelnuts, Cocoa and palm oil.
The hazelnuts used in Ferrero Rocher are high quality, sourced from hazelnut orchards mainly found in Mediterranean type climates. The hazelnuts come mainly from Turkey, Italy, Chile and the USA. The Ferrero Hazelnut Company (HCo), brings together all hazelnut supply chain activities, is committed to continuously improving the sustainability of its hazelnuts along the whole process. All the hazelnuts used can be traced back to their source. It takes 10,515 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of shelled or peeled hazelnuts. Production of 1 kilogram hazelnut generates approximately 2kg CO2, a car driving equivalent of 5 miles or 8 kilometers.
Cocoa used in Ferrero Rocher comes from Ivory Coast and Ghana who account for more than 60% of the Cocoa production worldwide. It takes about 15,636 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of cocoa powder. Production of 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of processed cocoa powder generates about 0.2kg CO2e, a car driving equivalent of 0.5 miles or 0.75 kilometers. Even though the carbon footprint to produce Coca is relatively low, production is really destructive and Ivory Coast has lost 80% of forests in the past five decades. Ferrero has initiatives like the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI), to protect and restore forests in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana but cocoa production has been damaging the environment in spite of many actions and initiatives.
Palm oil is also one of the important ingredients used in ferrero rocher but it is not confined to just this one chocolate but palm oil is used in a variety of products worldwide. Extracting palm oil leads to deforestation, wildlife deaths and greenhouse gas emissions. It is sometimes referred to as the Elephant of greenhouse emissions. Palm oil extraction in the years 2015-18 contributed roughly 500 million tonnes from just Indonesia and Malaysia which is more than the total GHG emissions just from the state of California.
The process begins with flat sheets of wafer with hemispheres moving down an assembly line. The hemispheres of the wafers are then filled with a chocolate hazelnut cream and part of a hazelnut. Next, two of these wafer sheets, one with a hazelnut and one with hazelnut chocolate cream, are clamped together. The excess wafer is cut away producing wafer balls. These balls are then coated with a layer of chocolate, a layer of chopped hazelnuts, and a final layer of milk chocolate before the chocolate ball is wrapped in its prominent gold foil.
The standard packaging of the chocolate is in a 16 piece box which is made up of polypropylene (PP). The sleeve around the box is made of mono material polypropylene (PP) with a PVdC lacquer. The ingredient card used at the bottom of the box is made of paperboard. The plastic tape sealing the box is made of polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE). The cup which is used to keep the chocolate is made of paper. The golden Ferrero Rocher foil which wraps around the chocolate is made of aluminum. The tray separating the layers of Ferrero Rocher is made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). All these materials do cause damage to the environment and raise questions like “Do they really need so many things in their packaging” ? Maybe they are all just to maintain their brand name but I feel they could reduce a few things from the ongoing packaging.
Ferrero Rocher is made by the company Ferrero who also owns kinder, tic tac, Nutella. They have 25 production plants across 5 continents and the products are sold across 170 countries. In FY 2019/2020, Scope 3 emissions of the company totalled 6,023,579 tonnes of CO2e and accounted for 91.2% of the total carbon footprint. The company primarily plans to focus on reducing these emissions. In FY 2019/2020, Ferrere self-produced 46.2% of the electricity and 97.2% of the thermal energy used in their operations.
In FY 2019/2020, 82.9% of the packaging was recyclable, reusable or compostable. The company plans to use 100% recyclable packaging by 2025.
The company has 38767 employees from 120+ countries. They are treated well and paid an average of $50000 annually. Ferrero has made commitments towards environmental sustainability as well. They have developed a detailed roadmap to reduce emissions from plants, warehouses and main offices, to fight climate change and reduce global emissions.