HACKETTSTOWN, NJ – Mars Chocolate North America is proud to announce that its iconic DOVE® Brand Chocolate will be the first mainstream chocolate brand in the United States to bear the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal on its dark chocolate products. Beginning in the fall, DOVE® Brand Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate will source 100% of its cocoa volume from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, and the packaging will bear the organization’s little green frog seal in January 2012.
The move demonstrates Mars’ commitment to use 100 percent certified sustainable cocoa in all of its products worldwide by 2020. Mars is the first and only major manufacturer to make this commitment. The certified cocoa will be traced to the factory and matched to the volumes used to manufacture: DOVE® Dark Chocolate as singles, large bars and DOVE® PROMISES; DOVE® Dark Chocolate – Roasted Almond in large bars and DOVE® PROMISES; and DOVE® Dark Chocolate – 71% Cacao Large bars.
“We’re thrilled to offer the same DOVE® Rich Dark Chocolate taste, with the added benefit of supporting cocoa farmers and a healthy environment,” says Debra A. Sandler, chief consumer officer, Mars Chocolate North America. “Mars is proud that DOVE® is the nation’s first mainstream chocolate brand to feature the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal on packaging.”
DOVE® is committed to producing quality chocolate from “bean to bar.” DOVE® uses specially selected cocoa beans to deliver the signature taste, a special process that produces the unique silky smooth texture, and thoughtfully designed chocolate shapes and packaging to provide a chocolate experience like no other. By working with the Rainforest Alliance, DOVE® proves to its U.S. consumers that they can trust DOVE® Chocolate, not only for the best in quality and taste, but also for its responsible production.
“The launch of DOVE Dark Chocolate products featuring the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal marks a significant milestone for the U.S. chocolate market,” said Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance. “In addition to providing consumers with the sustainably produced goods they demand, DOVE® Brand’s commitment will have a momentous impact on cocoa farming communities and their local environments.”
During 2010, nearly 56,000 metric tons of cocoa was produced on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms — a 319 percent increase over the previous year. Rainforest Alliance Certified farms curb deforestation, conserve soil and water, reduce waste and provide habitat for wildlife. Through certification, farm workers benefit from decent wages, safe work conditions, dignified housing, healthcare and access to education for their children. Farmers also learn to control costs, increase production, improve quality, manage their natural resources and protect the environment.
In May, the Rainforest Alliance recognized Mars, Incorporated as one of seven recipients of the “Sustainable Standard-Setter” award. The awards honor businesses and individuals that champion conservation, protect the environment and support local communities.
In April 2009, Mars, Incorporated was the first global chocolate company to commit to fundamentally changing the way sustainable cocoa farming practices are advanced by pledging to use 100 percent certified sustainable cocoa in all of its products worldwide by 2020. Last year, 16,000 metric tons were certified, representing five percent of the company’s supply. To achieve this ambitious goal, Mars is investing millions of dollars each year in programs around the world to foster innovation in agricultural science; transfer key technologies to farmers; enable effective collaboration between farmers, manufacturers, governments and NGOs; and enact rigorous certification standards that address farmer productivity and key issues.
Mars’ current certification partners are the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified “Good Inside,” and the company has committed to purchase 100,000 tons annually from each by 2020.
About Mars Chocolate North America:
Mars Chocolate North America is the North American chocolate operations of Mars, Incorporated. In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the philosophy of a “mutuality of benefits” for all stakeholders – this vision serves as the foundation of the Mars, Incorporated we are today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $30 billion and six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience. More than 65,000 Associates worldwide are putting our Mars Principles in action every day to make a difference for people and the planet through our performance.
Mars brands include: Chocolate – M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Petcare – PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, SHEBA®, CESAR® and ROYAL CANIN®; Wrigley – ORBIT®, EXTRA®, STARBURST®, DOUBLEMINT® and SKITTLES®; Food – UNCLE BEN’S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS® and SEEDS OF CHANGE®; Drinks – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA CO.™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience –SERAMIS®, CIRKU™ and COCOAVIA™.
About the Rainforest Alliance
The Rainforest Alliance works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. From large multinational corporations to small, community-based cooperatives, businesses and consumers worldwide are involved in the Rainforest Alliance’s efforts to bring responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is growing steadily. For more information, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.