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Kraft Foods Launches European Line of Sustainable Chocolate

Kraft Foods Launches European Line of Sustainable Chocolate

In the struggle for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly economic structure, the international corporations of the world have taken a lot of criticism for their less than scrupulous practices.

Many people don’t stop to realize, however, that corporations are in a uniquely appropriate position to facilitate the massive shift in demand that is needed for organic, free trade, and sustainable materials to make it to the mainstream consumer.

Take, for instance, the impact that will soon be made by Kraft Foods in the area of sustainable cocoa farming. The food product giant recently announced its launch of “the first mainstream chocolate products in Europe to carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal. The global food company also has committed to increase its current purchases of cocoa beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms ten-fold by the end of 2012, to 30,000 tons (Environmental Leader).

Beginning in France and Belgium, Kraft’s Cote d’Or premium dark chocolate will now contain cocoa from farms that meet the sustainability standard of the Rainforest Alliance Certified program. Over the coming months, the certified Cote d’Or range will be rolled out to consumers in over 12 countries, including the United States (EL).

Under the auspices of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), an international coalition of leading conservation groups, the Rainforest Alliance works with farmers to ensure compliance with the SAN standards for protecting wildlife, wild lands, workers’ rights and local communities. Farms that meet these rigorous standards are awarded the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal.

Rainforest Alliance Certified means:

Less water pollution as all sources of contamination (pesticides and fertilizers, sediment, wastewaters, garbage, fuels and so on) are controlled.

Less soil erosion as farms implement soil conservation practices such as planting on contours and maintaining ground cover.

Reduced threats to the environment and human health as the most dangerous pesticides are prohibited, all agrochemical use is strictly regulated, farmers must use mechanical and biological pest controls where possible and strive to reduce both the toxicity and quantity of chemicals used.

It might surprise you to learn that Kraft Foods has been working with the Rainforest Alliance and other international trade organizations to support sustainable cocoa production in West Africa since 2005.

The private-public partnership that results from this latest effort will allow six Ivorian cooperatives, representing over 2,000 farmers in the Daloa/Issia and Abengourou areas, to earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal.

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19 comments

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12:50PM PST on Feb 18, 2010

Noted

9:10AM PST on Nov 4, 2009

Thanks Jean S. for your reference to the Consumer Organics article. http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_18372.cfm
I highly recommend reading it. Not sure whether I could cut some of the text and paste it here with acknowledgment of source. You will certainly see this article as strictly advertising. Kraft is on a list for chocolate producers who use child labor and the article would imply that has not changed. The organization is not regulated and is private and Kraft company has a secure position in it.
Here is a paragraph cut from that link:

Rainforest Alliance's standard creation process does not involve the cooperation of farm workers, and are understandably much more lax. RA sets no baseline premium for wages, and at best maintains the low bar set by local governments. In RA's list of criteria, only those considered 'critical' (of which freedom of association is not one of them) must the producer comply, and then by only 50%. The most surprising element of RA standards, given their fundamentally weaker nature to begin, is that a purchaser's product need only contain 30% certified content to be awarded the green frog label. Given all these percentages, a 'non-critical' criteria can be ignored, and final certified product could contain 30% materials that are 50% child labor free. (For a more detailed investigation into RA's deficient standards, follow this link to a previous OCA article.)
So as the saying goes "Trust half of what you read, trust half of

6:37AM PST on Nov 4, 2009

It really is too bad that Kraft foods is operated by a cigarette company. For this reason I have boycotted all Kraft products. Otherwise I would be interested in this. It may be a step in the right direction, but the overall market plan of this company is to make money off of the addiction and death of others. Not what you think of when you imagine those wholesome fuzzy teady bears on the peanutbutter jar or the big family image kraft tries to impose on the general public, is it?

1:35PM PST on Nov 3, 2009

That's good but what about it being fair trade? vegan? I certainly won't be purchasing it if any animals or humans were harmed in its making.

11:19AM PST on Nov 3, 2009

I agree with Elodie. A step in the right direction. While their motives maybe purely greed, if greed forces them to do the right thing then they should be encouraged.

While this product may only 'contain' sustainable cocoa, it will probably take awhile for the farmers to increase supply, so that is understandable.

I say vote with your dollars now and support them, but if they don't keep making improvements, your vote can always change.

10:02AM PST on Nov 3, 2009

They are taking a step in the right direction. No corn syrup would be another good step. And I don't really care if PETA supports them- PETA is full of people who care nothing, and know nothing, about animals. I am an animal rights advocate, but I have not, and will not, condone PETA... check their records on their animal adoptions. They kill more pets than most humane societies ever will! ADOPTABLE pets, mind you. Hypocrites, all of them. All they want is money.

8:38AM PST on Nov 3, 2009

I voted NO on this poll . Until KRAFT agrees to stop using wild animals in it's commercials , their products are boycotted in this house ! As some of you may know , PETA tried to speak with KRAFT to inform them of the horrible lives these animals live after their " usefullness" ended , but KRAFT wouldn't even SPEAK with them ! My significant others' brother works for KRAFT , and he said " A couple people boycotting us isn't going to matter much . We're too BIG " ( Or words to that effect ) So KRAFT is already on my shit list !

7:42AM PST on Nov 3, 2009

I do not trust Kraft at all. This new chocolate may be helping poor farmers in third world countries but what are the other ingredients? Are they using GE or GMO corn as a sweetner? If so, then this product is simply deadly.

5:53AM PST on Nov 3, 2009

some of the brands are actually surprising, ie Gevalia, Lu, Milka, Polly-O, Toblerone, Jacobs...
http://www.kraftfoodscompany.com/Brands/index.aspx

5:40AM PST on Nov 3, 2009

Dont trust Kraft.. This is a piece fro an Organic Consumer Association article:

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_18372.cfm


Full ARTICLE
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_18372.cfm

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