Certifications and Sustainability



Cacao provides important income for families. CourBecause sustainable growing can convey substantial benefits to farmers, members of the global chocolate and cocoa industry visit farmers to share knowledge gained through research in bio-control and bio-technology. These programs share techniques that can give the farmers more income and security.  

Certifications on a chocolate product share information about how the cacao in it was produced, and under what conditions. They can help guide buying decisions.

Companies also may participate in one or more programs that govern how a chocolate product is produced, but your chocolate may not be labeled as such.

The following are a few certifications that you may recognize on a wrapper when buying chocolate.

  • Fair Trade USA: Fair Trade Certification principles include fair price, fair labor conditions, direct trade, democratic and transparent organizations, community development and environmental sustainability.

Fair Trade USA, a non-profit organization, is the only independent, third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the U.S. and one of 20 members of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO).
  • Rainforest Alliance: The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.

Rainforest Alliance Certified agricultural and wood products are derived from farms and forests where water, soil and wildlife habitat are conserved, where workers are treated well, where families have access to education and health care and where communities benefit.

Organic production is a system that is managed in accordance with the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990 and regulations in Title 7, Part 205 of the Code of Federal Regulations to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity. The National Organic Program (NOP) develops, implements and administers national production, handling and labeling standards.
  • UTZ CERTIFIED: UTZ CERTIFIED works together with major stakeholders from industry, government and civil society to achieve a more sustainable cocoa sector. UTZ CERTIFIED operates on the farmer first principle. Using its experience in coffee, UTZ CERTIFIED is committed to making a difference for and with the cocoa sector. The goal of the program is to create an efficient certification program for socially and environmentally responsible cocoa production that meets the needs of both producers and markets.
To support up-scaling of the initiative, UTZ CERTIFIED allows flexibility in the supply chain in terms of the processing and handling of UTZ CERTIFIED cocoa and cocoa products.

Company Programs

Learn about the programs in which these manufacturers are involved:

ADM
Armajaro Trading LTD
Barry Callebaut
Blommer Chocolate Company
Cargill
Ferrero
Guittard Chocolate Company
The Hershey Company
Lindt-Ghirardelli
Mars Chocolate
Mondelez International
Nestle
The International Cocoa Initiative (ICI)
The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF)


Did You Know?
A farmer must wait four to five years for a cacao tree to produce its first beans.
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