Mars Chocolate made significant progress in reaching its goal of purchasing its entire cocoa supply from certified sustainable sources by 2020. The company reached its goal for 2011, purchasing 10 percent of its total cocoa supply as certified sustainable.In 2012, Mars will exceed its target of 20 percent to become the largest user of certified cocoa in the world.The company estimates it will buy just about 90,000 tons by the end of the year.
The goal, set in 2009, aims to support extension services to reach some of the world’s 5 to 6 million cocoa farmers and provide them with material support and organization they need to be successful.
“A successful certification program is so important to our effort because it is the most effective tool we currently have to reach millions of cocoa farmers at scale. It took a lot of hard work from farmers, certifiers, and others along the supply chain to meet this milestone, and we are pleased to see their energy paying off,” says Barry Parkin, Global Procurement and Sustainability Head for Mars Chocolate.
Working together with The Rainforest Alliance, UTZ Certified, and Fairtrade International, Mars cites three components to its Sustainable Cocoa Initiative: cocoa science research, the transfer of technology and agricultural methods to cocoa farmers, and third-party certification.
“Certification has great potential to benefit hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of cocoa farmers,” says Andy Harner, Global Cocoa Vice President for Mars Chocolate.
Posted by Lauren Grelle-Athanasiou