10:51 19.01.2024

NACP adds Swiss chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut to list of intl war sponsors

3 min read

The National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) has added the Swiss chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut to the list of international war sponsors, the agency reported.

"Chocolate should improve your mood, but the world's leading chocolate manufacturer chose a different path. Instead of giving positive emotions to people, it decided to work on blood," the NACP said in a statement.

According to the department, Barry Callebaut has been working in the Russian Federation for more than 15 years, has three factories on its territory and continues to finance Russia's war against Ukraine, paying taxes to the aggressor's budget. The Moscow Alcon business center also houses the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy, the second largest in the company.

In Russia, Barry Callebaut operates through Barry Callebaut NL Russia LLC and Barry Callebaut Kaliningrad LLC. In 2022, these companies paid taxes to the aggressor's budget more than $33 million. In addition, Barry Callebaut NL Russia is the founder of Inforum-Prom and Gor Trade LLC, which in 2022 paid almost $500,000 in taxes in Russia.

After Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Barry Callebaut delivered chocolate to the aggressor under the guise of essential goods, and in November 2022 its French representative office supplied products (cocoa paste, butter) to the Russian confectionery factory Vernost Kachestva LLC, whose chocolate is included in army rations aggressor.

The NACP states that Barry Callebaut continues to be an active participant in import and export transactions with a terrorist state. In 2023, it imported goods worth more than $94 million into the Russian market, which is more than three times higher than in 2022. Among them are confectionery products, dry mixes, cocoa, cocoa butter, palm oil, fat from Belgium, Switzerland, Estonia, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, India, and Spain.

"Shortly after the start of the full-scale invasion, the company announced the supply of essential goods to Russia: 'chocolate is part of the daily diet of many.' However, this statement is manipulative, as according to the legislation of the aggressor country, neither chocolate nor cocoa-containing food products are considered essential foodstuffs," the department said.

"The military operation in Ukraine was launched by the Russian government, not the Russian people. This is a distinction that we have kept in mind as we make these difficult decisions. Furthermore, we are a company that will support its customers. It does not seem right for us to disengage from our customers and leave them without products from customers who did not ask for this military operation," the NACP recalled the words of company's CEO Peter Boone.

The NACP indicated that there were no attempts to condemn Russia's war against Ukraine from the management of the Swiss company.

The Barry Callebaut group of companies is a global manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products. It was formed in 1996 as a result of the merger of the Belgian company Callebaut and the French company Cacao Barry (both existed since the mid-19th century). It produces goods under the Sicao and Chocovic brands, and also imports products under the brands Callebaut, Cacao Barry, Carma, Mona Lisa, Bensdorp, Van Hauten, and La Morella. Every fourth chocolate and cocoa product in the world is made from products of this company. Its main shareholders are Swiss Jacobs Holding AG (50.50%) and the wife of Jacobs owner Klaus Jacobs, Renata Jacobs.