Unilever said it will have to source 60% of the cocoa for Magnum from sustainable sources by the end of 2012

Unilever said it will have to source 60% of the cocoa for Magnum from sustainable sources by the end of 2012

Unilever has pledged that Magnum will be the first ice-cream brand to contain only cocoa from farms certified by the Rainforest Alliance.

The consumer goods giant said Magnum ice creams will only contain the cocoa by 2015. It said today (20 February) that, to meet the target, it will have to source 60% of the cocoa from sustainable sources by the end of 2012.

Some 35,000 tonnes of cocoa are used it Magnum. It is unclear what percentage of the cocoa is certified by the Rainforest Alliance. Officials for Unilever could not provide an answer at the time of writing.

"We're committed to establishing best practice in the industry, and through our work with the Rainforest Alliance, we can now source our cocoa in a sustainable and responsible way," said Mike Van Ettinger, senior vice president for Magnum "For us, this is as much about making a difference at origin by helping farmers and improving their livelihood and environment, as it is delivering pleasure."

Unilever is one of a number of major companies obtaining Rainforest Alliance certification for its brands.

The certification programme promotes sustainable farm management and incorporates a range of environmental, social and economic standards, including water and soil conservation, wildlife protection, wages, housing and healthcare for farm workers.