Why are Cadbury and Mars adopting these ethical certification marks?

Mars spokesperson:

This new agreement links Mars even more closely to cocoa farmers, working in partnership to produce cocoa that meets the criteria set out by Rainforest Alliance and other members of the Sustainable Agriculture Network and teaching cocoa producers new farming techniques that will significantly improve yields and increase income – benefiting their families and communities while protecting the environment.
This is the next major step towards a long term global commitment to purchasing only cocoa that is certified as being produced in a sustainable manner and ensuring a better quality of life for cocoa farmers and communities, as well as protecting the environment and the wildlife that depend on it.
Importantly, Mars will be able to reward the farmers directly for their efforts in production, bio-diversity preservation and other aspects of sustainable farming, across economic, social and environmental areas.
Cadbury spokesperson:

Cadbury has a 100 year heritage of working with farmers in Ghana, and our Fairtrade announcement coincided with the first anniversary of our Cadbury Cocoa Partnership (CCP), an historic initiative in which Cadbury is investing £45 million over the next ten years to secure the sustainable socio-economic future of cocoa farming in Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean where the cocoa farming industry is facing increasing challenges.

We know how vital it is that businesses support their partners and the communities they live in. We believe that by joining forces with the Fairtrade Foundation, we can further improve living standards and conditions for farmers and farming communities, and create a sustainable supply of high quality cocoa for Cadbury.

Fairtrade certification will support farmers not yet Fairtrade certified to become organised in groups with democratic structures so that they can achieve Fairtrade certification against internationally agreed social, environmental and economic standards, and trade with the company on Fairtrade terms.

Cadbury will also be sourcing cocoa from Kuapa Kokoo, one of the first groups to be Fairtrade certified, with over 40,000 registered cocoa farmers across Ghana, and we estimate that our commitment will triple the volume of cocoa they sell on Fairtrade terms in 2009/10.

Bama Athreya and Tim Newman:

Cadbury and Mars’ announcements come after years of pressure from activists and farmers. They are a reaction to the growing global movement for fair and sustainable food.

Why are Cadbury and Mars adopting these ethical certification marks now, at this time?

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