Certification means the cocoa used has been produced in a specified way and allows it to be traced through the supply chain. By creating a set of standards against which cocoa farming is measured, certification allows changes to be made across the whole supply chain on a much wider scale than would otherwise be possible. Mars globally works with all three major certifiers – Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ – to source certified cocoa.
This certification provides a set of standards to guide farming practices, cocoa quality, pricing and environmental stewardship. While certification organisations don't train farmers directly, they partner with local NGOs to deliver training and use independent auditors to confirm their criteria are met.
Certification helps raise standards across the supply chain and allows cocoa to be traced throughout its journey from regional origin to factory gate. Cocoa manufacturers cannot have direct agreements with each individual farmer, but certification enables them to know that the cocoa they buy on the open market is just as good as the cocoa they are helping farmers produce directly.
In Australia and New Zealand, we source Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa for our MARS® bars. We buy greater quantities of certified cocoa than is required to cover the certification of our MARS® bars. Given the range and volume of chocolate products we make, we do not segregate the certified cocoa we buy and are unable to ensure physical traceability to each and every individual product.
GALAXY®, DOVE DARK®, and MALTESERS® are other Mars brands that are certified in some markets; however Mars’ efforts go far beyond our commitment to certification. We work with our suppliers to improve farmer productivity, labor conditions, farmer organization and transparency of premiums. Our goal is to create a viable industry that allows cocoa farmers to thrive, not just become certified.
Mars pledged in 2009 that, globally, 100% of our cocoa will be certified as sustainably produced by 2020. We are well on the way to achieving this, in 2016 we were on track to certify 50% of the cocoa we buy.
Where palm oil is used in our chocolate or filling, we declare it on the label as vegetable oil, in compliance with the Food Standards Code.
We believe it is important to demonstrate our responsibility to sustainability and since 2013 have used 100% Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified palm oil, based on mass balance, in all our markets around the world.
Sustainability is a journey. We want to see all of industry use only certified palm oil, and we are stepping up our efforts to see higher social and environmental standards applied. We are working with suppliers and organisations such as the RSPO to overcome the challenges the industry faces so we can make the responsible and sustainable production of palm oil a reality. Our pledge is help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.
We do not believe that palm oil production should come at the expense of forests or their inhabitants, and have introduced measures to ensure traceable, no deforestation palm oil.
To find out about our policy on deforestation and our membership of The Forest Trust, visit www.mars.com/global/about-mars/mars-pia/our-supply-chain/palm-oil.aspx