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3 June 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
Confectionary company Mars Chocolate will purchase nearly 90,000 tonnes of certified sustainable cocoa in 2012 as part of its sustainability pledge.
In 2012 the business expects to exceed its target of buying 20 per cent certified cocoa supply. It estimated if buying trends continue at their present levels it will purchase nearly 90,000 tonnes of cocoa this year. In 2009 the chocolate maker pledged it would purchase its total cocoa supply from certified sustainable sources by 2020.
The chocolate manufacturer met its 2011 goal of purchasing 10 per cent of its cocoa supply from certified sustainable sources. In the same year Mars’ cocoa purchases were approved according to Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified standards, both of which ensure good practice among cocoa farmers. This year Mars also began purchasing Fairtrade cocoa.
By 2020 demand for cocoa will exceed global supply by one million tonnes. In anticipation, Mars’ Sustainable Cocoa Initiative aims to use certification to support cocoa farmers worldwide. The Initiative is also using scientific research to improve crop cultivation and increasing productivity amongst farmer using technology and agricultural methods.
Barry Parkin, global procurement and sustainability head for Mars Chocolate, said in a statement: “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.”
“Certification has great potential to benefit hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of cocoa farmers,” added Andy Harner, global cocoa vice president for Mars Chocolate.