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Mars to Introduce First Fairtrade Product

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Mars to Introduce First Fairtrade Product

Mars to Introduce First Fairtrade Product
September 28
09:18 2011

Mars Chocolate and Fairtrade International have announced a new agreement to introduce the first Fairtrade labelled Mars product and to work together to enable farmers to have sustainable livelihoods through and substantially increased productivity. As part of the initial phase of the agreement, the first Mars product to carry the Fairtrade Mark will be Maltesers, to appear in stores in 2012 in Ireland and the UK, a move that will contribute more than $1 million annually in Fairtrade Premium funds for cocoa farmers to invest in their farms, business organisations and communities.

 

Over the long-term, Mars will explore how best to scale up its purchases of Fairtrade cocoa, and will support Fairtrade’s continued efforts to develop measures that would allow more confectionery companies to increase their commitments to purchase more Fairtrade cocoa with the aim of impacting the lives of more cocoa farmers than ever before.

 

Current annual world production of cocoa is around 3.5 million metric tons, and by 2020 the chocolate confectionery industry will need at least 4.5 million metric tons. To satisfy demand, cocoa farmers need industry support to invest in overcoming the challenges of ageing cocoa trees, low productivity and lack of confidence in cocoa farming among the young. Yet as of 2009, certified cocoa represented just over 1% of total purchases.

 

Mars was the first major confectionery company to commit to purchasing only certified cocoa. In the future, demand for certified cocoa must be met by an efficient, effective and reliable system of farmer training, auditing and supply chain management. Furthermore, a much greater proportion will need to be certified by 2020 to allow the market to bear additional large scale certified purchasing commitments, and, more importantly, to have a positive impact on many more of the 5 to 6 million farmers who cultivate cocoa.

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