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Confectionery Giant Mars Announces $1 Billion Sustainability Plan To Fight Climate Change

September 11th, 2017
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When President Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, many were worried that it could spell the end of the accord. The concern was that if as big a player as the US was to leave, other countries would see little point in remaining. But in a strange twist of fate, the reverse has happened.

Nations have doubled down on their commitments, and the current White House administration is even receiving a backlash from major business and industry players who want the regulations and targets because they know they are necessary. The latest corporation to hit back at the withdrawal is the confectionery giant Mars, who has announced that it is launching a $1 billion ‘Sustainability in a Generation’ plan. The aim is to tackle its carbon emissions while at the same time promote sustainable farming for its products.

Industries are now waking up to the fact that cutting emissions is not just about doing good or preventing climate change, but is actually just good business sense. By switching from fossil fuels to renewables the cost of energy drops once you recoup the initial investment as the energy is cheap. It’s as simple as that.

“This plan is about not just doing better, but doing what’s necessary. We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s good business,” explained Grant F Reid, the chief executive of Mars. “We expect to have a competitive advantage from a more resource-efficient supply chain, and from ensuring that everyone in our supply chain is doing well.”

Mars has set out a plan to cut its greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain by 67 percent by 2050. In addition to this, they will also set up projects aimed at reducing poverty for their suppliers and farmers in low-income countries, as well as improving the sustainability of the farming practices that they run.

The massive investment by the $35-billion company, which makes all sorts of confectionary from Skittles to Juicy Fruit, has been announced in the run up to the UN General Assembly and Climate Week that is taking place in New York later this month. Mars hopes that as such a big hitter in the business world, it will encourage other companies to make similar environmental commitments.

And it seems that this mentality is working. To date, 14 states that account for a third of the US population and just under 40 percent of the US’s GDP, have formed the United States Climate Alliance in which they will maintain their commitments to the Paris agreement, bypassing the White House and the President entirely.

Source:  iflscience.com

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Mars Chocolate to invest $70 million in U.S. supply chain

June 17th, 2017
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Newest investment builds on $1 billion set aside for manufacturing investment

Mars Chocolate North America plans to invest $70 million in its U.S. supply chain, illustrating a commitment to American manufacturing and innovation.
The investment will add 250 jobs to Mars locations throughout the country, ensuring that 95 percent of Mars’ products for the United States are made here. The Snickers maker’s latest move builds on $1 billion in manufacturing investments made over the last five years. More than 1,000 jobs have been added across Mars’ portfolio of segments including chocolate, sugar confectionery, food, drinks, petcare and symbioscience.
“Mars believes in the value of keeping our operations in America – it’s good for our people, our business and our consumers,” says Tracey Massey, president, Mars Chocolate North America. “This investment will create new American jobs in communities across the country while also enabling us to offer more product innovation, choice and transparency to our consumers.”
In 2016, Mars pledged to commit more than $900 million to its U.S. supply chain on top of its previous $1 billion investment. These investments include:
  • Investing $72 million in Fort Smith, Ark., to support Mars Petcare, creating 130 new jobs.
  • Hiring 4,188 employees and opening 31 new Banfield hospitals in 2016, in addition to a new headquarters in Vancouver, Wash.
  • Investing $100 million in Royal Canin’s new plant at the New Sioux City, S.D. site.
  • Creating 23 jobs through the $4.8-million expansion of the Mars Symbioscience site in Germantown, Md.
  • Investing $50 million to expand Wrigley’s Yorkville, Ill., facility, adding Skittles production and leading to a 25 percent increase in jobs.
  • Continuing to update the Mars Food Greenville, Miss., factory through a $31-million investment that has created more than 25 jobs.
“As a U.S. based family-owned business, Mars has been investing in local manufacturing and the communities where we do business for over a century,” says Mark Johnson, president, Mars Petcare North America. “This commitment is fundamental to our DNA and how we operate. And you’ll continue to see investments like this across our businesses.”
Source:  Candy Industry
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Mars to up investments in United States

April 8th, 2017
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Mars Chocolate North America has unveiled plans to reinvest $70 million in its U.S. supply chain, building on the company’s earlier commitment to invest $1 billion in U.S manufacturing operations over the past five years. As part of its latest pledge, Mars said it plans to add approximately 250 new jobs to sites across the United States, ensuring that more than 95% of Mars’ chocolate products for the United States are made in this country.

“Mars believes in the value of keeping our operations in America – it’s good for our people, our business and our consumers,” said Tracey Massey, president of Mars Chocolate North America. “This investment will create new American jobs in communities across the country while also enabling us to offer more product innovation, choice and transparency to our consumers.”

Plans include a $55 million investment in the company’s Topeka, Kas., facility to accommodate increased production, including adding a line for Twix candy.

Last year, Mars pledged to commit more than $900 million to its U.S. supply chain on top of its previous $1 billion investment. These investments include:

• Creating 23 jobs through the $4.8 million expansion of the Mars Symbioscience site in Germantown, Md.

• Investing $50 million to expand Wrigley’s Yorkville, Ill., facility, adding Skittles production.

• Continuing to update the Mars Food Greenville, Miss., plant through a $31 million investment that has created more than 25 jobs.

“Our consumers are known for trying new things,” Ms. Massey said. “They are increasingly paying attention to what they eat, but they also want to treat themselves. Our supply chain transformation will allow us to balance consumers’ unique, changing needs while continuing to meet demand for their most beloved products.”

Source:  bakingbusiness.com

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Mars to Combine Its Chocolate and Wrigley Businesses

October 8th, 2016
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Mars Inc. will combine its chocolate operations with its Wrigley subsidiary, as it buys the minority stake in the chewing gum unit from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

Mars said it accelerated its plan to purchase Berkshire’s Wrigley holding but didn’t disclose financial details. A spokesman for Wrigley didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

The move to combine its chocolate business with Wrigley will put brands such as Snickers candy bars and Doublemint gum into one operating segment. Other divisions at Mars, such as petcare and beverages, will remain separate.

The two units will form an entity called Mars Wrigley Confectionery and be led by Martin Radvan, current president of Wrigley and a 30-year veteran of Mars.

Wall Street was surprised by the $23 billion deal that privately held Mars, backed by Berkshire, struck to buy then-publicly-traded Wrigley in 2008.

Berkshire contributed about $6.5 billion to the deal, including $2.1 billion for dividend-paying preferred stock in Wrigley and $4.4 billion in bonds. Mars bought back the bonds in 2013, netting Berkshire a pretax investment gain of $680 million.

Mars had become eligible to purchase half of Berkshire’s Wrigley stake on Thursday, and Berkshire said in a recent filing that it had expected those shares to be purchased. Now, however, Mars will instead purchase the full stake held by Berkshire.

The original Wrigley deal was one of several lucrative investments Mr. Buffett struck during the financial crisis, using Berkshire’s cash-rich position to lend money at high interest rates at a time when credit markets were tight.

On Thursday, Mr. Buffett said “I have enjoyed all of Berkshire’s experiences with the Mars family and management and wish them the very best. Both Mars and Berkshire have profited from our investment, and that’s the way it should be.”

Mars chocolate and Wrigley are set to combine sometime next year. Mars Wrigley Confectionery will be based out of Chicago. Mars Inc. is based in McLean, Va.

Source:  wsj.com

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Mars, The World’s Biggest Candy Maker, Makes The Case Against Sugar

June 18th, 2016
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It appears that confectionery giant Mars, the company behind M&M’s, wants you to eat less of its candy.

Reports have it that Mars is attempting to convince McDonald’s, Burger King, Dairy Queen and other fast-food chains to drop its candy goods from their dessert lineups in a bid to encourage moderate sweets consumption.

Reuters reported that an industry source familiar with current talks said Mars spoke to McDonald’s as well as other partners about its candies’ inclusion in their sugar-laden products, including the McFlurry. M&M’s boast of 7.5 teaspoons of sugar, which is around one-third of that present in every serving of the large McFlurry.

Recipe reformulations are another consideration, the source added.

Earlier in 2016, Mars strengthened its public stance that sweets should be consumed in moderation. It endorsed recommendations made by leading health authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Committee, which urge limiting consumption of sugar – particularly added ones – to nothing over 10 percent of total calorie intake.

The company also backed a new U.S. government rule requiring food companies to disclose how much sugar they add in their offerings. To the surprise of many, Mars – also the manufacturer behind Snickers, Twix and Skittles – was the first candy maker to list calorie amounts on its product labels, with others in the industry moving along with the practice eventually.

It also halted the sale of its supersized candy bars and restricted candy packages to only 250 calories for each serving.

“We are now working alongside our suppliers and customers to bring this commitment to life,” a Mars spokesperson told Reuters in response to the report, declining to comment further.

Margot Wootan, nutrition policy director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, lauded the decision to acknowledge one’s own food as something that should be eaten only occasionally.

“Maybe in private when you are talking to a company they’ll say, ‘yeah candy is a treat,’” she said in a CBS News report, hitting how the company’s advertising would, in reality, actually endorse its products as a necessary snack.

To others, Mars is missing the bigger picture, which is that it is still junk food, according to public health attorney Michele Simon. It remains, however, that the latest move from the biggest confectioner in the world reflects a movement against sugar in the food industry.

Obesity is an escalating issue worldwide, now affecting about 1.9 billion individuals. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, costs for treating obesity-linked diseases, including high blood pressure and diabetes, have ballooned to $147 billion in 2008 dollars.

Taxing high-sugar and highly processed foods has been proposed to curb the growing epidemic, particularly in countries such as the United Kingdom.

Source: TechTimes.com

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Mars to Remove All Artificial Colors Over Five Years

February 20th, 2016
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Products across the range of the company’s chocolate, gum, confection, food and drink businesses will be affected by the change, which will take place incrementally over the next five years.

Mars, Incorporated announced that it will remove all artificial colors from its human food products as part of a commitment to meet evolving consumer preferences.

Though many of the company’s products are already free of artificial colors, by expanding the scope of the effort to its entire human food portfolio, Mars is making a commitment of significant depth and breadth. Products across the range of the company’s chocolate, gum, confection, food and drink businesses will be affected by the change, which will take place incrementally over the next five years.

Artificial colors pose no known risks to human health or safety, but consumers today are calling on food manufacturers to use more natural ingredients in their products. Against this backdrop, Mars will work closely with its suppliers to find alternatives that not only meet the its strict quality and safety standards, but also maintain the vibrant, fun colors consumers have come to expect from the company’s beloved brands.

“We’re in the business of satisfying and delighting the people who love our products,” said Grant F. Reid, President and CEO of Mars, Incorporated. “Eliminating all artificial colors from our human food portfolio is a massive undertaking, and one that will take time and hard work to accomplish. Our consumers are the boss and we hear them. If it’s the right thing to do for them, it’s the right thing to do for Mars.”

Today Mars uses a variety of naturally sourced and artificial colors in its global product portfolio. Depending on consumer preferences, ingredient availability and local regulations, slightly different formulations and products may exist in different markets. However, all ingredients used by the company are safe, and all are manufactured in compliance with Mars’ own strict internal quality and safety requirements and the requirements established by food safety regulators globally, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Removing all artificial colors from a human food portfolio that features more than 50 brands represents a complex challenge. Mars’ strategy includes partnering with suppliers to identify new ingredients and formulas that meet its rigid safety and quality standards, addressing all legal and regulatory requirements, and creating accessible ways to gather input and feedback from consumers throughout the reformulation process. The company believes the process of developing alternative colors, ensuring their safety and quality, obtaining regulatory approval, and introducing the new ingredients across the entirety of its human food portfolio around the world will take about five years.

Source: Asia Food Journal

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Euromonitor: Mars, Mondelez vie for top confectionery maker in the world

August 22nd, 2015
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Geography, positioning affect global growth of candy companies

Recently, Euromonitor Int’l launched its latest figures for 2015 global confectionery sales. And several data points raised some eyebrows.

First, the figures suggest that competition to be the leading confectionery producer is heating up between Mars and Mondelez. Both companies are expected to achieve sales of around $25 billion in 2015, with Mars possibly edging ahead to become market leader. While it could be argued that this is a result of exchange rate differences, the implications remain disturbing for the future of confectionery in Western Europe.

Geographic differences help Mars close the gap

Euromonitor’s data indicates that Western Europe saw the biggest absolute sales decline of any region, with an $8.2 billion decrease in sales. The region has seen a slump as a result of the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against the euro. Although emerging market currencies have also suffered — i.e., the Asia Pacific recording just a 3 percent value growth over 2014 and 2015 — they have not been hit as hard as Europe.

As a result, Mars and Mondelez are not alone in seeing sales decline in 2015. However, Mondelez has almost certainly been more affected than Mars, because its confectionery division is focused almost entirely outside the United States.

Indeed, as the accompanying graph demonstrates, Western Europe is the company’s largest market, with 34 percent of its sales coming from the region. While Mars also has a large share here — representing a quarter of its total confectionery sales — it gains the largest proportion of its sales from North America. This reduces its exposure to exchange rate volatility. Conversely, Mondelez achieves just 11 percent of its confectionery sales in the region.

Other manufacturers with a large focus on Europe have also suffered. Ferrero saw a 10 percent decline in U.S. dollar terms, with more than half of its business focused on Western Europe, and very few sales occurring in North America.

Its main rival in the premium market, Lindt, was less affected as a result of its recent acquisition of U.S. confectioner Russell Stover. Given its extreme overreliance on North America, Hershey has unsurprisingly achieved the best result of the top 10 confectionery companies, with 4 percent growth in 2015. Hershey achieves more than 80 percent of its sales in the United States alone.

Movements away from Europe to increase

The trading environment in Western Europe is unlikely to pick up any time soon, with economic uncertainty and market saturation combining to ensure continued sclerosis.

Solid profit margins may become more difficult to achieve in Western Europe. Along with North America, there is a growing demand for high-quality products without a similar increase in unit prices. This comes at a time when retailers are looking to cap unit prices, further exacerbating profit margin growth.

It is important to remember that Western Europe remains by far the largest confectionery market in the world, and so there are still significant revenues to be made. However, the region has peaked in volume terms, having achieved negligible growth over the last five years.

Sclerosis in the region is expected to continue over the next five years, with confectionery value and volume sales achieving less than 1 percent CAGR. This suggests that companies will even struggle to make Western Europe an effective cash cow — good for achieving value sales, but not one where manufacturers can easily sell in higher volumes.

While this decline in the performance of Western Europe has been known for several years, it is the scale of the decline revealed by the new data that is most arresting. Given that uncertainty around the euro may continue, the poor performance of the euro against the U.S. dollar could further accelerate strategic shifts away from Western Europe.

Challenging environment for sugar confections to continue

Whilst chocolate manufacturers may be able to appeal to high purchasing power in development markets in order to secure value growth, the same cannot be said for sugar confectionery makers. Here, sweets are failing to grow quickly due to a combination of factors.

Firstly, there has been an increased amount of negative media attention around products that are high in sugar. This has particularly affected sugar confectionery — such products are more popular amongst younger audiences, who are generally bought treats by parents and guardians that are increasingly aware of health implications of overindulgence.  The aging population also means there is a dwindling audience to appeal to.

Finally, unlike chocolate, sugar confectionery manufacturers have resoundingly failed to offer convincing product diversification. Chocolate manufacturers have been able to increase value sales by offering new products that justify higher unit prices. This has generally been achieved by packaging innovations — such as the introduction of sharing bags — and offering more premium ingredients, such as higher percentage chocolate, responsibly sourced or better quality cocoa.

In this sense, sugar candy manufacturers have been unable to take advantage of the unusual combination of high disposable incomes and declining consumption that is so characteristic of Western Europe and North America.

With volume consumption between 2015 and 2020 expected to remain flat and grow by 3 percent respectively, and value sales expected to perform at a similar level, sugar confectioners ought to consider adopting the strategies used by their chocolate rivals in order to further boost value sales.

Yet opportunities remain

The solution to negligible developed market growth is not simply to move toward those beacons of light such as China and India. This is because there have been some notable exceptions to those underwhelming overall figures.

Lindt, for example, has performed particularly well, achieving 143 percent sales growth in North America and 11 percent in Western Europe. This is due to the company effectively pushing its premium message, which has stood out against rivals who continue to pursue middle-price strategies.

In addition, success in China and India is far from guaranteed, with Hershey reporting poor performance for its recently acquired Shanghai Golden Monkey brand in the former country. An analysis of how to succeed in Asia Pacific requires too much detail to go in to fully here. However, regardless of the country, manufacturers need to concentrate on making their brands discernible in increasingly saturated markets.

Source: Candy Industry

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Limited edition M&M’s

May 1st, 2015
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In a bid to win over the UK public, Ms Brown has announced that the M&M’s brand is launching a limited edition USA colour mix available from 18 May. Limited edition pouches, treatbags and sharing bags will offer consumers the chance to win trips to New York, Orlando or Las Vegas and to visit M&M’s World for an exclusive VIP introduction to Ms Brown herself.

The campaign is set to be hugely popular with the UK public. Over the last five years, the M&M’s brand has contributed more to bitesize growth than any other brand and the new, limited edition M&M’s packs are anticipated to continue to build on the success of the M&M’s Election campaign.

Mars will be supporting the launch of Ms Brown limited edition packs with a number of point of sale units available to retailers, such as prefilled units, dumpbins, counter top units (CTUs) and Wobblers. The launch will be supported with a TV ad featuring Ms Brown, which will be on air for 26 weeks, making M&M’s an unmissable brand in 2015.

Bep Dhaliwal, trade communications manager Mars Chocolate UK: “Building on the success of our Character Election campaign, we’ve launched limited edition Ms Brown M&M’s to keep the public excited about the new character. We know that M&M’s limited editions perform well, as last year we saw an uplift in sales of our Brazil M&M’s packs. We recommend retailers stock up early and use the branded POS available.”

Source: Sweets and snacks europe

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Mars celebrates 80th anniversary

September 7th, 2012
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Mars Chocolate UK is celebrating its 80th year in the UK.

The Mars story began in the UK in 1932 when Forrest E Mars, Sr, moved to the UK with money ‘in his back pocket’ to set up a new business and the recipe for his family’s Milky Way bar that had already proven to be a huge success in his native US.

Starting life in the UK as Mars Limited, and occupying a small rented manufacturing unit on the Slough Trading Estate, Forrest combined the knowledge gained from his father, his own engineering skills and his objective to ‘create mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders’ to build a successful company.

The first product to emerge from this new company was the nougat and caramel filled Mars bar, which was based on the Mars family’s American Milky Way recipe. The launch marked a step-change for a UK confectionery market that was dominated by block chocolate. The new bar proved a massive hit with UK consumers and at the end of the first year’s production had sold two million bars with the business generating £15,000.

Since these modest beginnings, the Mars bar has gone from strength to strength, it is still the number one substantial bar in the UK and, 80 years since its introduction to the UK, it is still proudly manufactured in Slough and the brand is now worth £89 million a year.

Today, the Slough Factory produces many other globally successful chocolate brands, including Snickers, Galaxy, Minstrels, Maltesers and Revels. These products are both consumed here in the UK and exported from Slough across Europe, and as far as China and Australia, with the facility producing more than 2.5million Mars bars every day using the skills of more than 1000 people employed at its UK head office and factory.

Fiona Dawson, president of Mars Chocolate UK comments, “It is fantastic to be celebrating 80 years of Mars Chocolate and we are very proud that the birthplace of the iconic Mars bar remains our home to this day. Eighty years on, we have continued our commitment and investment in Slough and the local area. We would like to say a special thank you to our customers, suppliers and employees. Without their support reaching this 80-year milestone would not have been possible.”

Mars’ growth and success in the UK is not confined just to Slough, there are currently factories and offices in 14 towns nationwide. Mars UK currently employs over 4,000 people across its chocolate, petcare and food businesses and continues to invest millions of pounds in British manufacturing every year. Including a new £5 million R&D facility at its Slough factory that is due to open next month.

Source: Sweets and snacks europe

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Mars to become largest user of certified cocoa

June 22nd, 2012
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Mars Chocolate has made significant progress in just three years towards fulfilling its 2009 pledge to purchase its entire cocoa supply from certified sustainable sources by 2020. The company stated that it had met its 2011 goal of purchasing ten percent of its total cocoa supply as certified sustainable, and in 2012 it will exceed its original target of 20 percent, making it the largest user of certified cocoa in the world. Based on current buying arrangements, the company projects that they will purchase nearly 90,000 tons of certified cocoa.

Mars believes certification is the best tool industry has to support effective extension services to reach as many of the world’s five to six million cocoa farmers as possible and provide them with the material support and organization they need to be successful.

Estimating that demand for cocoa will outstrip global supply by one million tons by 2020, Mars Chocolate has developed a comprehensive strategy to manage this challenge under the guiding principle of putting cocoa farmers first. Mars’ Sustainable Cocoa Initiative is one of the largest, most farreaching efforts within the cocoa industry to increase productivity, strengthen communities, and encourage better farmer incomes.

“We are pleased to have reached another critical milestone in our Sustainable Cocoa Initiative,” says Barry Parkin, global procurement and sustainability head for Mars Chocolate. “A successful certification program is so important to our effort because it is the most effective tool we currently have to reach millions of cocoa farmers at scale. It took a lot of hard work from farmers, certifiers, and others along the supply chain to meet this milestone, and we are pleased to see their energy paying off.”

In 2011, Mars’s cocoa purchases were certified according to Rainforest Alliance’s and UTZ Certified’s standards. Last year, Mars announced it will be partnering with Fairtrade International, and purchases of Fairtrade cocoa began in 2012. Currently, six Mars products worldwide are labeled through the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified. Since the company’s primary goal is to reach 100% certification by 2020 and encourage more industry commitments to buy larger volumes of certified cocoa, Mars will purchase certified cocoa for all products by 2020, even though some products may not be explicitly labeled.

Mars Chocolate is focusing on three distinct, critical elements with the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative: cocoa science research, including mapping the cocoa genome in conjunction with IBM and the US Department of Agriculture; the transfer of technology and agricultural methods to encourage productivity among cocoa farmers, especially through the company’s Vision for Change programme in Côte d’Ivoire; and third-party certification. Mars Chocolate is the only large global chocolate manufacturer to work with the three leading certification organisations, the Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade International, and UTZ Certified.

“Certification has great potential to benefit hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of cocoa farmers,” says Andy Harner, global cocoa vice president for Mars Chocolate. “However, to be truly meaningful, certification must bring industry together to prioritize real change at the farm level ahead of all other interests. We are truly grateful to our certification partners The Rainforest Alliance, UTZ Certified, and Fairtrade International for sharing this vision and for the commitments they have made to putting cocoa farmers first.”

Source: Confectionery Production

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