Organic Consumers Association

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Mars, Nestle Promise Ethical Cocoa Supply

Global confectioners Mars and Nestle have joined a sustainable cocoa programme, which aims to establish a traceability system for all farmers in the Ivory Coast.

The Good Inside Cocoa Programme, established by the Dutch non-profit organisation Utz Certified, aims to eliminate environmental and humanitarian problems such as child labour, deforestation and low salaries.

As consumer and regulatory concern over working conditions in Africa increases, manufacturers can no longer ignore the responsibility they have towards some of the poorest workers in the world.

However, Utz Certified project manager Daan de Vries told that the programme will have practical implications as well.

"We will consider issues such as market supply, health and safety - all the factors necessary for cocoa trading," he said.

On a purely business level, Western firms are indeed conscious that protecting supply from the Ivory Cost and Ghana - which together account for 65 per cent of the world's net cocoa - is vital in order to keep margins high.

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