HSBC Amanah to sustain cocoa sourcing through green financing

The country’s 1st green financing facility will support Guan Chong’s sustainable ambition to achieve 100% traceable and sustainable cocoa supply by 2030


HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd has completed a bespoke green trade financing facility to Guan Chong Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Guan Chong Cocoa Manufacturer Sdn Bhd, to sustain cocoa sourcing in Malaysia.

The country’s first green financing facility will support Guan Chong’s sustainable ambition to achieve 100% traceable and sustainable cocoa supply by 2030 from its direct cocoa bean sourcing network.

According to HSBC’s statement yesterday, Guan Chong has a long-term vision of building a sustainable business that aims to positively impact the cocoa supply chain through its sustainability programme, Good Cocoa & Beyond, and its four pillars.

“This includes improving farmer incomes, protecting the environment, benefitting the farmers and their communities, and providing responsible cocoa. The green trade finance provided by HSBC Amanah serves as a foundation in supporting this vision,” the international bank stated.

HSBC Malaysia CEO Stuart Milne added that the deal enables Guan Chong to procure certified cocoa beans which supports agroforestry systems and ensures no cocoa-related deforestation.

“This milestone transaction marks the first green trade financing for sustainable cocoa sourcing in Malaysia as well as for HSBC Group,” he said.

Guan Chong spokesperson Elsa Tay said sustainable practices will benefit both its customers and the company’s business.

“HSBC’s support will help in Guan Chong’s transition to achieve our ambitious yet necessary target of 100% traceable and sustainable cocoa by 2030 from direct supply chain,” Elsa said.

HSBC Amanah’s green trade finance structure innovatively blends various post-shipment solutions for sustainable sourcing that can be clearly assessed, quantified, measured and reported.

Through trade documents, the procurement of certified cocoa beans by Guan Chong in using sustainable sources was attested to be in compliance with the environmental, social and/or economic aspects by recognised certification bodies.

“With the above certification in place, the deal was in compliance with Green Loan Principles, a framework which promotes the development and integrity of green finance products,” HSBC explained.

Early last year, Guan Chong joined the Cocoa & Forest Initiative (CFI) with the aim to support their commitment to end deforestation and restore forest areas by excluding any further conversion of forest land for cocoa production.

This commitment to the CFI indicates Guan Chong’s strong intention to shape a more responsible supply chain, paving the way that led to this partnership with HSBC.

According to HSBC, the three pillars in CFI are forest protection and restoration to pledge no further conversion of forest land for cocoa production; sustainable production and farmers livelihood to improve productivity of farms to “grow more cocoa on less land” via good agricultural practices and farm level crop diversification; as well as community engagement and social inclusion to involvement of all farmer communities by developing gender and youth focused programmes and support the development of operational guidelines on resettlement and restoring living standards.

Johor-based Guan Chong is one of the world’s largest cocoa grinder in the world.