AUS: Mars launches Rainforest Alliance tie-up

By ausfoodnews.com.au | 31 May 2011

Mars Inc has announced that it will source enough Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa to cover the production of its flagship Mars bar brand for the Australian market.

The move follows Cadbury's move last year when it began purchasing enough Fairtrade cocoa to cover the production of Dairy Milk chocolate in Australia.

Mars Chocolate Australia claimed that chocolate lovers want to know that their special treat not only tastes delicious, but has been produced in a sustainable and ethical way.

"Mars bars have been an iconic product loved by Australians for 30 years," said Michael Ryan, general manager of Mars Chocolate Australia. "We are thrilled that we can continue to offer the same quality and taste, with the added assurance that Mars Chocolate Australia has sourced cocoa beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms to meet our needs."

He added: "The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal on Mars bars demonstrates Mars Chocolate Australia's commitment to sourcing sustainably produced cocoa, supporting cocoa farming communities in west Africa and globally."

The certified cocoa sourced for Mars bars will come from the Ivory Coast in West Africa.

"Nearly all cocoa is grown on small, family farms that are vulnerable to disease, inclement weather and price fluctuations," said Anita Neville of Rainforest Alliance Australia.

"The amount of cocoa beans used for Mars Chocolate Australia will require the annual harvest of several thousand farmers. This is a real commitment to sustainable farming that is already making a difference to cocoa growing communities."

The certified cocoa will be traced and volume-matched to the amount of cocoa used to produce Mars bars at the company's Ballarat factory, rather than the product itself being wholly produced from sustainable cocoa. In fact, all of Mars' chocolate products will contain a proportion of Rainforest Alliance cocoa.

Globally, Mars has made a commitment to have all of the cocoa in its products certified as being produced in a sustainable manner by 2020. In Australia, Mars hopes to have its full range of products sourced from certified farms well in advance of its 2020 global commitment.

Mars has been selling Galaxy bars containing Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa in the UK and Ireland since last year.

The Rainforest Alliance works with farmers to improve and change how they operate so that the environment and wildlife are protected. It also makes sure farm workers are paid a good wage, work in safe conditions, have access to good housing, and their children have access to education and healthcare.

Australian Food News is Australia's leading resource for the food industry, delivering daily news from the grocery, retail and hospitality sectors to 40,000 professionals each month.

http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/

Sectors: Confectionery, Sustainability & the environment

Companies: Mars Inc, Cadbury, Dairy Milk

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