Chocolate Labour Conditions / Fair Trade Question 1

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Previous: Chocolate Environmental Policy Question 9.
Next: Chocolate Labour Conditions / Fair Trade Question 2.

Question

Does the brand (company) purchase at least XX% of its cocoa from sources (plantations) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labour, and provide a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce the cocoa?
Dutch version: Remains
German version: Remains

Reference

For context and certifications, see the Chocolate Environmental Policy Question 2 and Supermarket Chains Labour Conditions Question 3.

For this question any amount of cocoa from socially certified sources is sufficient for a yes, because many brands do purchase cocoa from certified sources, which needs a basic acknowledgement which we give through this question. But many brands are not yet clear about the percentages, while we need this transparency to compare brands. Therefore we ask the following questions to evaluate the percentages that brands are involved in buying from certified sources.

NOTE: With this question we want to find out what the certificied percentage is of the raw materials, so the cocoa beans. Certified coffee does not necesserally mean that all the cocoa beans are certified. For the minimum percentages of certified raw materials in products, these are the rules:

  • Fairtrade* certification: 100%
  • UTZ CERTIFIED: 90%
  • Rainforest Alliance: 30% (normally it is 90%, but products may carry a Rainforest Alliance logo when only 30% of the ingredients are certified, this has to be mentioned on the packages though. Because of this we use the 30% standard, unless it is mentioned otherwise).

So if a brand states that 30% of its chocolate is UTZ Certified, 20% is Rainforest Alliance certified and 10% is Fair Trade certified, this means that the total percentage of certified beans is at least (30%x90%)+(20%x30%)+(10%x100%) = 43%.

'*Fairtrade is a European standard to which Max Havelaar (Dutch) belongs to.

Ranking Guidelines

A ‘Yes’ is applicable when

  • At least [XX%] of the purchased cocoa is bought from socially certified sources. The following sources are approved: Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, Utz Certified, Naturland or similar systems such as organic certifications schemes which fulfill the social criteria from the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) on the highest or second highest level. See "Sustainable Shopping Basket", page 17.
  • The brand is not a member of a certification initiative such as Fairtrade, but has its own program on sustainable cocoa production, and already purchases [XX%] of its cocoa from this program. Please note that this own program needs independent review before accepted and eligible to answer this question with a 'yes'.

A ‘No’ is applicable when

  • The brand specifically states that it does not buy cocoa from socially certified sources.
  • Only [XX%] of the purchased cocoa is bought from socially certified sources.

A ‘?’ is applicable when

  • The brand does not specify whether its purchased products are bought at socially certified sources.
  • The brand does not specify the certification standard of the purchased products.

Answering Guidelines

Answer ‘yes’

  • [brand] purchases [_%] of its cocoa from an socially certified source, namely: [UTZ Certified/ Rainforest Alliance/ Fairtrade/ Organic/ other*]
  • [brand] does not purchase its cocoa from an independent social certification standard, but carries out its own program, namely [insert name cocoa program*].

Answer ‘no’

  • [brand] does not purchase cocoa from socially certified sources.
  • [brand] only purchases [_%] of its cocoa from an socially certified source, namely: [UTZ Certified/ Rainforest Alliance/ Fairtrade/ Organic/ other*]

Answer ‘?’

  • [brand] does not communicate whether the cocoa comes from an socially certified source on its website.
  • [brand] claims to purchase cocoa from socially certified sources but does not specify the source or certification standard.


-* You can pick the topic that applies to 'your' brand.

Note: when linking to a downloadable source document, please refer to the page(s) where to find the respective information with: (see link, page [..]).

Optional, but only for ? Answers, feel free to write at the end of a remark: Sustainability information should be easily accessible for consumers to make responsible choices.with: (see link, page [..]).