February 13, 2012

The Chocolate Industry Begans to Step Up

Several years ago a friend posted a link about how slavery contributes to much of the chocolate sold in stores today.  It opened my eyes to labor slavery.

Since then many companies have made strides to change their practices to reduce slave labor in their supply chains.  One hold-out was Hersheys.  Well, late in January Hersheys made their first step towards addressing this problem.  They have made a commitment to purchase Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa for all of its Bliss Chocolate products, starting later this year.  While this is just one product, and this specific certification only requires 30% of the cocoa beans in a certified product to be fair trade...its still a step in the right direction.

Hersheys is following the lead of other companies which have made earlier steps, including...
  • Nestle has hired the Fair Labor Association, and organization which  specializes in accountability, to investigate and document child labor on the farms of it's cocoa suppliers. Nestl√© is the first food company to open up its supply chain to the FLA.  Read More Here.
  • Mars committed to certify its Maltesers chocolate candy as Fairtrade in the UK and Ireland in 2012.  While this is only one candy, this candy is the third largest brand in the UK and represents a 10% increase in total UK Fairtrade sales there. Read more here.
  • Barry Callebaut introduced three new fair trade chocolates into the US market in December 2011.  Read more here.
  • Unilever announced that it will use Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa for its Magnum Ice Cream by 2015.  From Article Here
  • Ben and Jerry's, another Unilever brand, announced that it intends to get  Fair Trade Certification for all flavors for all products where fair trade certification is possible by 2013.  From Article Here

In other good news, California passed a new law to bring more transparency to business supply chains.

    1 comment:

    1. The $20 billion U.S. chocolate industry is a mature, differentiated and demanding food category—making it a challenge for marketers of chocolate products seeking to distinguish themselves from the competition. From this perspective, Chocolate Candy in the U.S. examines the current state of the industry and where the growth will be over the next five years.