Monday 25 September 2017

Green & Black's to make chocolate bar that's not Fairtrade or organic for the first time

Ben Chapman

Green & Black's, which pioneered the use of Fairtrade chocolate in its bars, is launching its first product that is neither Fairtrade certified, nor organic.

Instead of the well-known Fairtrade logo, the new Velvet Edition bars will carry the "Cocoa Life" symbol, which was created by Green and Black’s owner, Mondelez International (formerly Kraft).

Mondelez, which also owns Cadbury, says Cocoa Life is "a holistic, cocoa sustainability programme in partnership with Fairtrade".

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The Fairtrade mark will also be removed from Dairy Milk wrappers this month and by 2019, Cadbury's entire chocolate range in the UK and Ireland - including Wispa, Twirl and Flake - will be Cocoa Life certified, not Fairtrade.

All Green and Black’s chocolate, apart from the new Velvet Edition, will still be made from organic ingredients.

Green and Black’s, which was founded by Craig Sams and Josephine Fairley in their west London flat, received the first ever Fairtrade mark in the UK in 1994.

Green & Blacks said in a statement on Thursday that the Cocoa Life scheme is independently verified, meaning meaning the company, "will build more and stronger relationships with farming communities and become an accountable partner, not just a buyer."

The Fairtrade logo is one of the most widely recognised ethical brands in the world. It currently helps around 1.65 million farmers in developing countries by ensuring they receive a fair price for their products.

The new Cocoa Life standard was unveiled by Mondelez in November last year. In a joint statement, Cadbury and the Fairtrade Foundation said at the time that it would mean five times as much Cadbury’s chocolate would be made with sustainably sourced cocoa.

The standard was agreed with the Fairtrade Foundation but critics have argued that the foundation had little choice as Cadbury is its biggest revenue source.

According to Bob Doherty, a Professor of Marketing at the University, it is unclear whether there will be any truly independent third party scrutiny of whether money paid for cocoa is reaching its intended participants and having the desired effect of aiding development in producer countries.

Glenn Caton, Northern Europe president of Mondelez, said on Thursday: "These beans are not available in organic at the scale required for Green and Black's, but I am proud that they are sustainably sourced, independently verified beans from the Cocoa Life programme, of which Fairtrade will ensure we remain an accountable partner for farmers."

Independent News Service

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