Germany-based chocolate makers Halloren, Lambertz and Alfred Ritter have become partners of the Fairtrade initiative aimed at sourcing supplies of cocoa sustainably.
TransFair, which is the Fairtrade representative organisation in Germany, said the firms’ move means the market share of “fair cocoa” sold in Germany has now risen to around 6%.
A TransFair spokesperson told just-food the move is the first such commitment on sustainable cocoa sourcing by Halloren.
“Lambertz has been working with TransFair over the past year on sourcing sustainable cocoa for its private-label products and we are pleased they have now decided to switch their whole brand to Fairtrade,” the spokesperson said.
“As Halloren and Lambertz have made a 100% switch to Fairtrade cocoa, they will be including the Fairtrade Cocoa Program logo on their packaging,” the spokesperson said. “This particular Fairtrade logo indicates that a company has committed to buy at least one commodity under Fairtrade conditions.”
Meanwhile, Ritter, which is known for its square tablets of chocolate, has been working on sustainability initiatives of its own in Nicaragua for some time and has now become a partner of TransFair, the spokesperson said. “For the time being, Ritter will not be using a Fairtrade logo on its packs, but will instead issue corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports on the amount of sustainable cocoa they are sourcing through Germany’s Cocoa Forum, which is a government initiative under which firms can report on CSR initiatives.
The spokesperson added: “We know through our consumer research and focus groups that more Germans would buy products like confectionery brands, that are committed to sourcing sustainably, if the products were more widely available.”
TransFair CEO Dieter Overath said: “Twenty-two years after the introduction of fair traded confectionery, we are now seeing movement in the industry. The extensive conversion of whole product categories to the Cocoa Program or the Fairtrade seal creates prospects for cocoa farmers in West Africa.”
TransFair said “for farmers’ organisations alone, the cocoa purchases for the German market represent some US$5.4m in addition to the raw material price”. The organisation added “sweets with several fairtrade ingredients were also successful in 2016”. TransFair sales of Fairtrade pastries in Germany rose by 42% to 1,300 tonnes, “mainly due to the product range at Aldi Nord, Rewe and Lidl, in addition to 7,200 tonnes (+23%) of fair ice cream, mostly from Ben and Jerry’s”, as well as almost 1,200 tonnes (+22%) of chocolate, including Rewe, Plant for the Planet, Lidl, Aldi Nord and Zotter.