Mars Chocolate UK has extended its commitment to sourcing sustainable chocolate with the release of the first Mars bars to feature Fairtrade-certified cocoa.
The chocolate producer has become the first British company to commit to the Fairtrade Foundation’s new Cocoa Sourcing Program, three years after it made its Maltesers brand Fairtrade for the first time. As part of the initiative, Mars and Fairtrade will take an innovative new approach to boosting the sustainability of cocoa production and enhancing the livelihoods of cocoa farmers, their families and their communities.
The programme was launched in 2014 in partnership with Mars Chocolate Germany for its Twix brand, and by next year is expected to surpass the $2m mark in Fairtrade premiums paid to West African cocoa cooperatives every year.
Alongside paying premiums to farmers’ organisations, Mars has started working in partnership with Fairtrade cocoa co-operatives in Côte d’Ivoire, who are building their own farmer-led projects to improve cocoa yields for the long-term through measures such as training farmers in the effective use of fertilisers and planting techniques, and providing access to improved high yielding and disease-resistant crops.
Mars Chocolate UK president Blas Maquivar said: “This is an important milestone in the Mars bar’s 83-year history. We’re proud to make one of the nation’s favourite chocolate brands and we’re now even prouder that the Fairtrade-certified cocoa we source for it is helping farmers to make their crops, and ultimately their livelihoods, even more sustainable.
“At Mars, ‘mutuality’ is one of our guiding principles and this is a true example of sharing mutual benefits with partners throughout our supply chain.”
Fairtrade Foundation chief executive Michael Gidney added: “The winning ingredient in this partnership between Fairtrade and Mars is that it puts farmers’ own organisations in control of improving their own livelihoods and cocoa production, and ensures much-needed investment to achieve mutual goals. We’re delighted that Mars, one our most iconic chocolate bars, is the first to join Fairtrade’s Cocoa Program in the UK, and that this will benefit some of the most vulnerable small-scale farming communities in Côte d’Ivoire.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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