* Chocolate maker wants all cocoa
sustainable by 2020
* Working with Rainforest Alliance, UTZ Good Inside
ABIDJAN, June 30 Chocolate-maker Mars
said it was on track to buy 10 percent of its cocoa from sources
certified as sustainable this year, and was working to increase
that to 100 percent by 2020, though supply remained constrained.
In a statement late on Wednesday, Mars said it had partnered
with the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Good Inside with the aim of
meeting 200,000 tonnes a year by the end of this decade.
Consumers, especially in Western countries, are increasingly
demanding products certified as sustainable, as awareness grows
of the impact their consumption has on the environment and the
mostly poor workers who provide the raw materials.
Labels like the Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade provide
markets in rich countries -- often at premium prices -- for
producers in developing states who adopt environmentally sound
cultivation methods or labour policies that promote development.
Once niche brands, their market share has surged.
"Mars is working to certify 100 percent of our cocoa as
sustainable by 2020, and we've already partnered with Rainforest
Alliance and UTZ Good Inside to meet 200,000 metric tons of our
projected annual cocoa supply by that time," Andrew D. Harner,
Global Cocoa Director for Mars Chocolate, said.
"Currently, we are on track to buy 10 percent certified
cocoa in 2011, but the available supply of certified cocoa is
still constrained," he added.
Last week, Alex Assanvo, global product manager of the
Fairtrade Labelling Organisation for cocoa, projected that total
sustainable cocoa would increase fivefold to well over 200,000
tonnes a year by 2020, compared with 35,000 tonnes sold in 2010.
Fairtrade, which does not itself work with Mars, based those
projections largely on expected demand, he said.
A U.N.-backed report last November said markets for
sustainable products have expanded rapidly over the past five
years and are growing much faster than for conventional goods.
"Our real interest in certification is to motivate an
industry-wide adoption of sourcing criteria that will drive
concrete benefits for farmers, first and foremost of which must
be increased productivity and income," Harner said.
World no. 2 cocoa producer Ghana remains the biggest player
in the sustainable market, with 60 percent, while Ivory Coast
has about 30 percent. The rest is largely shared between
Indonesia, Madagascar and Latin American countries.
(Reporting by Tim Cocks; editing by Mark John)