April 8, 2009 – Mars, Incorporated is proud to be the first global chocolate company to commit to fundamentally changing the way sustainable cocoa farming practices are advanced by aiming to certify its entire cocoa supply as being produced in a sustainable manner, by 2020.
The announcement is the latest milestone in the long-standing cocoa sustainability efforts of Mars, one of the world’s largest chocolate manufacturers. For 30 years, Mars has led the chocolate industry in its efforts to achieve sustainable cocoa production, investing well over $10 million in each of the past several years in a wide range of initiatives.
“As a leader in the pursuit of a sustainable global cocoa industry, Mars, Incorporated in line with its Five Principles, is working towards developing and advancing sustainable cocoa farming systems for the millions of small holder farmers involved with cocoa production. Our commitment to sustainability is serious and long-term, and this announcement is a major step towards our global commitment to purchase only cocoa that is certified as being produced in a sustainable manner,” said Paul S. Michaels, Mars CEO and president. “We are determined to put our principles into action, restoring cocoa supply for the next generation.”
The Rainforest Alliance, an international, not-for-profit organization, works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. Mars, Incorporated and the Rainforest Alliance are announcing a multi-year, multi-country collaboration. By 2020, the goal of the collaboration is to achieve Rainforest Alliance certification of 100,000 metric tonnes of cocoa annually for use in Mars products, a significant portion of Mars total cocoa requirements.
As part of the Mars global strategy to secure its supply of cocoa and improve the livelihood of farmers, Mars will be using Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa in our Galaxy Chocolate, sold in the UK and Ireland, beginning in 2010.
In addition to the certification effort with the Rainforest Alliance, as a founding member of the UTZ Certified Good Inside program for cocoa, Mars will continue to work with UTZ and its partners to achieve the certification of cocoa produced using sustainable practices by small farmers in West Africa.