Changes that
make a Difference

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In a broad sense, we have played a role in establishing chocolate quality standards. We insist on sustainable development from farmer to consumer and from rainforest to city.

New Standards for Chocolate

The industrialisation led to more and more affordable products on the shelves. Sweets and chocolate became a familiar and accessible pleasure for most, and soon, new consumer interests began to surface: Raw material origin, manufacturing methods, and sensory became new topics of conversation among global consumers. In other words, with the turn of the millennium, the concept of quality became broader, and the demand for knowledge on origin, recipes, and processes grew.
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Fortunately, Toms Group was ahead of the game: Chocolate recipes were already adjusted in the 1990s with a focus on pure cocoa ingredients. By this, we met the wishes of both the newly established Danish Chocolate Society (‘Chokoladeselskabet’) and the new Chocolate Act (‘Chokoladebekendtgørelsen’) from 2003. Toms Group demonstrated that manufacturing of high-quality chocolate can easily be combined with production in a modern confectionery company.

International Collaborations in the Cocoa Industry

Globalisation has brought awareness and attention to the value chain, from the origin of raw materials through the production of sweets and chocolate and to consumers’ enjoyment of the products. Toms Group has significantly contributed to the establishment of international collaborations to ensure environmental sustainability and human rights in cocoa cultivation in the world’s rainforests.
The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) are now well-known organisations, and Toms Group’s Sales Director, Hans Rysgaard, played a prominent role in their establishment in the 1990s and 2000s.

Pioneer for Sutainable Cocoa Cultivation

In 2009, Toms Group established full traceability for cocoa beans from Ghana, creating the opportunity to initiate projects for concrete improvements for cocoa farmers, rainforest, and cocoa quality.

These projects in three cocoa districts in Ghana became pioneering work for the entire industry, establishing sustainable cocoa cultivation, wells, schools, and education. Today’s recognised certification programmes and standards are strongly inspired by the experiences of Toms Group’s early commitment.

From Steam Boilers to Solar Panels

In Toms’ first factory building on Amager, a state-of-the-art steam engine supplied energy to the new machines. The drive belts whirred in the factory spaces, and cocoa mills and rollers produced chocolate for the first chocolate products.
Steam boilers were fueled with coal and coke, making it hard work for the boiler master and his team. Back then, it was revolutionary for the production possibilities – today, an unimaginable energy source for sustainable manufacturing. Fortunately, a lot has happened since the beginning of the 1920s: Today, all of Toms Group’s productions are powered by 100 % renewable electricity from wind and solar energy.

Knowledge sharing with tomorrow's consumers

For years, Toms Gruppen has educated tomorrow’s consumers in various aspects of chocolate production. Already in the 1950s, school classes were invited to come to the factory at Amager, and since then it has been a proud tradition to share important knowledge with thousands of Danish school children.

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Sweets and chocolates do not solely bring fun and delightful moments, as an unbalanced intake is unhealthy. Therefore, Toms Group prioritizes to educate the consumers to making conscious choices and reach a balanced intake.

Today, the safety and hygiene requirements do not allow us to invite visitors close to the production lines, and our education programmes therefore go out to the schools. For example, in the form of experience boxes where students get hands-on with cocoa and chocolate materials, while virtual teaching courses add knowledge about raw material origin, production processes, declarations, marketing, energy balance and tasting.

Strategy for a Sustainable Future

Toms Group’s early commitment to sustainable cocoa has significantly contributed to today’s recognised cocoa certification programmes and standards. We take pride in this pioneering role, and internally at Toms, it has created a fundamental drive. We aim to take our share of responsibility for a sustainable development, focusing and insisting on changes where we can make a difference:
From cocoa farmer to consumer and from rainforest to city. In recent years, responsible sourcing, CO2 reductions, and circular packaging have gained extra attention, and our ambitions are high.

Add-ons to Sustainability

Toms Group’s Foundation supplements the sustainability efforts by supporting initiatives and partnerships that make a positive impact on people or environment—both in our local communities and in the supply chain.
For example, holiday colonies for vulnerable children in Denmark (via Red Barnet) and children in cocoa-producing districts in Ghana (via ICI Ghana) receive support. Funds have also been granted to significant efforts for environment and biodiversity in Ghana’s rainforest. This includes training of cocoa farmers in regenerative farming to support the area’s resistance to climate change.