Green & Black Chocolate Goes Fairtrade in the USA

chocolate green photo

Image from the Guardian

Green & Black chocolate, which has always been organic, is now going Fairtrade in the USA and the world by the end of the year. Great news for the Fairtrade farmers and for us, as ethical chocolate eaters.

For 15 years they have had one line, Maya chocolate, but now they are expanding the whole line to be completely Fairtrade. They will be working with farmers and co-operatives in the Dominican Republic to get the beans. This helps the 36,000 farmers because they get job security and educational and health benefits for their families.

cocoa beans photo

Image from flavordiva

Green and Black's has been buying organic Trinitario cocoa beans from cooperatives in the Dominican Republic for the last 10 years and these farmers are now the main source of cocoa for Green & Black's. The financial commitment will mean an investment of more than $485,000 each year over the next 10 years through additional Fair Trade premiums paid to them and their communities. This means that the prices will remain stable for cocao and thus provide long-term sustainable livelihoods.

Green & Black make their chocolate in Canada (not the USA) and ship it to their American markets. They sell 20% of their chocolate in the USA, whilst the UK represents 66% of their business. They will have the Fairtrade logo on their chocolates by the end of the year. They hope to have their whole range in more than 30 countries converted by the end of 2011.

The move represents another major coup for Fairtrade, which last year certified Cadbury's Dairy Milk, and Kit Kat.

When asked how the recent buy-out of Cadbury (which owns Green & Black) would affect the company's plans to go Fairtrade, representatives said "we're focused on ensuring any transition retains the unique qualities of Cadbury, including maintaining the
momentum behind our Cadbury Cocoa Partnership and plans for the Fair Trade certification of Green & Black's."

maya fairtrade photo

Image from Green & Black
Craig Sams, former owner of Green & Blacks and now the president, in an interview in the Guardian last week said:

"Successful corporations identify and follow these deeper underlying trends and would be betraying their shareholders' interest in trying to reverse them.

Frankly, it's the consumers who don't buy organic and fair products that upset me the most. Consumers have a choice, companies don't, they only sell what customers buy. Kraft and Cadbury are on the right track and I am confident the new entity will continue to pursue this.

I have no idea if Kraft will ask me to stay on as president, but if they don't that could be your canary in the coal mine."

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