Mars and Fairtrade International Announce Collaboration
Maltesers® to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark in UK/Ireland in 2012, Mars to provide more than $1 million annually in Fairtrade Premiums to farmers’ co-operatives in West Africa
Mars Chocolate and Fairtrade International today announced a new agreement to introduce the first Fairtrade labelled Mars product and to work together to enable farmers to have sustainable livelihoods and substantially increased productivity.
At the heart of the agreement is a shared ambition to make commodity certification that supports sustainable livelihoods for farmers the norm in the cocoa industry. Over the long-term, Mars will explore how best to scale up its purchases of Fairtrade cocoa and will support Fairtrade’s continued efforts to develop measures that would allow more confectionery companies to increase their commitments to purchase more Fairtrade cocoa with the aim of impacting the lives of more cocoa farmers than ever before.
As part of the initial phase of the agreement, the first Mars product to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark will be MALTESERS®, to appear in stores in 2012 in the UK and Ireland, a move that will contribute more than US$1 million annually in Fairtrade Premium funds for cocoa farmers to invest in their farms, business organizations and communities
“This agreement is a big step towards fulfilling our shared mission to empower farmers to build vibrant, sustainable livelihoods, and we’re very excited to work with Fairtrade on ways to enable commodity certification to scale across the entire industry,” said Barry Parkin, Mars Global Chocolate Vice President. “This commitment is our recognition of Fairtrade’s history of dedication to smallholder farmers and their efforts to enable farmer productivity and income improvements.”
In addition, Fairtrade and Mars will work to take advantage of their common interests and expertise to explore how to improve the productivity, quality, labor and community development benefits they can bring to farmers. Cocoa farmers stand to benefit immensely from the partners’ combined experience – Mars’ expertise in technical support to improve yield and Fairtrade’s expertise in building farmer organizations.
“We’re excited about this agreement’s potential to transform the lives of thousands of small-scale cocoa farmers,” says Rob Cameron, CEO of Fairtrade International. “Through Fairtrade certification, we’ve seen how farmers’ organizations can use the additional investment from Fairtrade cocoa sales to tackle the problems they face – from projects to improve their farming methods and the quality of the cocoa they produce, to schooling for their children and health facilities in their villages. But the needs are still so great. That’s why working with Mars is so important – together we have the potential to have real measureable impact on the ground.”
For more information contact: Reykia Fick, Media Relations Manager Fairtrade International, Direct Phone: +49 - 228 - 949 23 141, Mobile: +49 172 541 6076, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org