Towards More Sustainable Chocolate
by Slow Food USA Intern Carol Dacey-Charles
As reported in the Washington Post, Mars, Inc. has partnered with the Rainforest Alliance to ensure that its Galaxy line of candy bars sold in England and Ireland will be made from sustainable cocoa by 2010, with a higher aim of its entire line of chocolates to be Rainforest certified by 2020. Apparently pressured by its rival Cadbury, who announced that its Dairy Milk chocolate bar will be Fair Trade Certified by the end of the summer, Mars has made this push toward sustainability in order to compete in the more environmentally conscious British market.
The Rainforest Alliance accepted the Mar’s challenge to bring enough farms up to code so that 100,000 tons of Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa would be available each year by 2020. This will include education and support for thousands of family farmersthe largest growers of cocoa beans whose farms average 4-6 acres each.
This is not Mars first venture into sustainable agriculture partnerships. As reported on their own websiteדIn 2008, Mars Drinks achieved Rainforest Alliance certification for three Flavia coffee offerings; and in that same year, we began the Mars Partnership for African Cocoa Communities of Tomorrow (iMPACT), through which Mars has been working with cocoa farmers alongside the Rainforest Alliance and other experienced development partners to support farm and community development in West Africa.
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