Fairtrade America has announced that partner Guylian, a Belgian chocolate brand well known for its chocolate seashells, has committed to sourcing 100% of cocoa used to make its chocolates on Fairtrade terms. Going forward, all Guylian products will carry the Fairtrade Mark on the front of the packaging, signalling to consumers that the product’s supply chain is in compliance with Fairtrade’s environmental, social and economic standards.
Cocoa farmers are currently facing issues such as inflation, rising production costs, the climate crisis and Covid-19 related challenges while the price paid for cocoa hasn’t risen in accordance. A fairer deal is “essential”, Fairtrade say, for a sustainable future for cocoa farmers and the consumers who enjoy their chocolate. Making key changes within the supply chain like sourcing 100% of cocoa from Fairtrade farmers is a step in the right direction, the organisation say. Converting to Fairtrade cocoa, Guylian will be providing West African cocoa farmers in its supply chain the Fairtrade Minimum Price for cocoa but almost US$500,000 inFairtrade Premiums.
Guylian is shifting its focus towards sustainability in other ways as part of a rebrand launched earlier this year, which includes transitioning to more eco-friendly production. As a result, the chocolate seashells with hazelnut pralineé, its individually wrapped chocolates and range of 100g premium bars have an improved recipe with refreshed and modern packaging bearing the blue and green Fairtrade Mark on the front.
“We’ve put sustainability high on our new agenda and hope to inspire other chocolate brands to be more thoughtful about their production,” explained Tom Snick, CEO of Guylian. “We aim to be a pioneer in chocolate and confections through our meaningful commitment to Fairtrade, as well as through more sustainable raw materials and packaging, and reduced CO2 emissions.”
Guylian’s new packaging is fully recyclable, to reduce the use of paper- and plastic-based packaging. Since the beginning of this year, its production site in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, is also fully climate neutral, meaning that CO2 emissions have been reduced and other emissions are offset. This follows on from the company’s 2018 removal of palm oil and soy from its chocolate recipe in a move to help prevent deforestation.
“We are proud to welcome Guylian into the Fairtrade system and are thrilled to see the Fairtrade Mark on its packaging, giving conscious consumers another reason to enjoy indulgent, ethically-sourced chocolate,” remarked Carlos Urmeneta, Director of Commercial Partnerships, Fairtrade America. “Cocoa farmers and their families are struggling to make a decent income due to climate change, poor soil conditions and long-term low prices. When brands like Guylian choose Fairtrade, they’re committing to people and the planet.”
Fairtrade International, including its US chapter, Fairtrade America, has been recognised as the gold standard of fair trade certifications in an analysis conducted by Fair World Project.
Guylian’s chocolates featuring the Fairtrade Mark are available across the US at retailers like Albertsons, Raley’s and Top’s. Fairtrade America offers a Product Finder where Fairtrade-certified products sold in the US can be found.
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