Chocolate giant Mars has insisted its cocoa sustainability tie-up with the Rainforest Alliance is “not marketing greenwash”.

Earlier this month, the US-based confectionery group outlined plans to use only “sustainable” cocoa in its products by 2020.

The M&M’s-to-Snickers maker has teamed up with the Rainforest Alliance and the company 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.

Last month, Cadbury laid out its own plans to achieve Fairtrade certification for Cadbury Dairy Milk by the end of the summer.

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By GlobalData

Fiona Dawson, managing director of Mars Chocolate in the UK, refused to be drawn on the relative merits of Fairtrade certification and a tie-up with the Rainforest Alliance as marketing tools.

Mars has worked with the Rainforest Alliance on its drinks portfolio and Dawson said the two sides had a “deep and meaningful relationship”.

“This is less of a marketing greenwash. The marketing’s really cute – I like the frog – but that wasn’t the decision point in terms of why did we go with one with versus the other,” Dawson said yesterday (27 April).

Dawson said the Rainforest Alliance would be “one of many partners” with which Mars would work on sustainability projects in the coming months.

“There’s another partnership called Utz, which is more widely known in the continent who we are also working with. We’re going to have an umbrella approach when it comes to sustainability.”