We have seen the Fairtrade stamp on products since 1994. It is endorsed by some of the UK’s biggest names from Gregg’s to John Lewis. However, in recent years, some brands and retailers have moved away from Fairtrade in favour of their own standards.
So what other standards are out there?
In 2012, Mondelēz (which owns well-known brands including Cadbury, Daim, Milka, and Green & Black’s) launched its own sustainability scheme under the name Cocoa Life. Whilst some Mondelēz brands (for example Cadbury’s) were previously Fairtrade certified, Mondelēz wanted to be able to work directly with farmers as a partner for all of its chocolate brands.
As a major cocoa buyer, Mondelēz can reach more producers through introducing its own sustainability programme than it could have done through Fairtrade. The key areas of focus for Cocoa Life are:
- Ensuring sustainable cocoa farming businesses by improving productivity to increase incomes;
- Empowering cocoa communities to lead their own development and improve their livelihoods through entrepreneurship; and
- Conserving and restoring forest where cocoa is grown.
Cocoa Life also remains in close partnership with Fairtrade to ensure cocoa farmers earn a fair wage. Additionally, climate change resilience and combatting deforestation are big focuses of the Cocoa Life programme. Through the standard, Mondelēz invests in farmer training and adoption of good agricultural practices such as agroforestry, mobilising communities to protect forests, and planting trees.