What about the other commodities in these products, in particular the sugar?

Mars spokesperson:
We work closely with all our suppliers on issues such as labour standards, health and safety and business integrity. This includes our sugar suppliers. One of the five principles that we define our entire business on is mutuality. We believe in having mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships with everyone you do business with.

Cadbury spokesperson:

Yes, the sugar in Cadbury Dairy Milk will also be sourced from certified Fairtrade sources – we are investigating a number of different sources including Belize, Malawi, Zambia and Swaziland.

Bama Athreya and Tim Newman:

Mars’ announcement makes no reference to additives in chocolate. Mars is using Rainforest Alliance certification which, according to the company’s website, does not certify sugar, although they do certify coffee, tea, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, avocados, guavas and citrus.

ILRF encourages chocolate companies to apply strong labor standards for their sugar supply chains as well as other additives. Extreme labor rights abuses, including forced labor, have been exposed in the production of sugar in many countries. ILRF produced several reports related to labor rights abuses in the sugar industry in several Central American countries prior to the passage of the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement in the US which can be viewed online here.

Michael Niemann:

Neither of the companies' original press releases mentioned anything about other ingredients that go into a chocolate bar. That fact alone brings out the cynic in me. Global attention happens to focus on child labor in the cocoa sector, not on labor conditions on sugar plantations. Why reform those parts of the supply chain that are not in the public spotlight?

What do these two different routes – Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance – say about the companies’ respective strategies?

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