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

The company received the first ever Fairtrade mark in the UK in 1994 but its latest bar will instead sport the 'Cocoa Life' logo, which was created by Green and Black's owner, Mondelez International

Ben Chapman
Thursday 03 August 2017 16:42 BST
Green & Blacks chocolate is owned by Mondelez International
Green & Blacks chocolate is owned by Mondelez International

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”.

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 the company, “will build more and stronger relationships with farming communities and become an accountable partner, not just a buyer."

A spokesperson for the company said: "FLOCERT, which also works as Fairtrade’s independent assurance and certification body, will continue to independently verify the terms of trade of Cocoa Life as the programme grows.

"This involves tracking the quantity of sustainably grown and traded cocoa and the loyalty payments made to farmer organisations. We also have a new partner in Ipsos who will also independently verify the programme."

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.

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.”

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