Chocolate giant Mars told just-food today (9 April) that its plans to source all of its cocoa sustainably would benefit both the business and cocoa farmers.

The M&M's-to-Snickers maker earlier today outlined plans to use only "sustainable" cocoa in its products by 2020.

The company has teamed up with the Rainforest Alliance and said it wants the not-for-profit organization to certify 100,000 metric tonnes of cocoa annually for use in its products.

Mars will look to promote its sustainability credentials by placing a Rainforest Alliance logo on the Galaxy bars it sells in the UK and Ireland from next year.

Speaking to just-food, Howard-Yana Shapiro, global director of plant science and external research at Mars, said the company's plans would help the business secure a more reliable cocoa crop.

Moreover, Shapiro also said the investment would help cocoa farmers in regions like west Africa, eastern Asia and the Americas make better use of their resources. Mars, he said, would help cocoa farmers boost their yields, increase their income and protect the environment around them.

"The business benefit is that efficient production is critical," Shapiro said. "But, we have a responsibility to do this work because we are a private company."

Mars, he said, would work with farmers to improve their techniques and help them produce cocoa in a sustainable way.

"A sustainable farmer is a farmer that has the ability to adapt [and] to think that every tree, every plant that grows has a benefit. Sustainability is the first step and sustainagility is the second step," Shapiro said.

The plans from Mars are the latest move from a confectioner to look to source its ingredients more ethically. Last month, Cadbury laid out its own plans to achieve Fairtrade certification for Cadbury Dairy Milk by the end of the summer.

Shapiro refused to be drawn on Cadbury's plans but said Mars "would not rule out" any similar moves for Fairtrade certification.