Premium Belgian chocolate brand Guylian has confirmed it will partner with Fairtrade America, which the company says marks a step towards more ethical trade for the company.
The new deal will see the chocolate company use 100% Fairtrade Cocoa in its US confectionery lines, with the new products clearly labelled as Fairtrade to distinguish them.
The partnership has been welcomed by Fairtrade America as a sign that Guylian is ready to help participating West African Cocoa farmers achieve a fair living wage. Fairtrade America points out that the global Cocoa and chocolate industry is worth $48.29 billion and is expected to grow. In contrast, Cocoa farmers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire – the world’s two leading Cocoa producers – earn less than $1 per day, well below the UN extreme poverty line.
To make matters worse, the value of the local currency has fallen due to inflation, while production costs (e.g. for fertiliser) have risen dramatically. Nothing has changed in the already low prices paid to farmers. If Cocoa farming is to remain sustainable, Cocoa farmers must be paid more for their contribution to the value chain.
Important changes in the supply chain and a move towards greater transparency and traceability are essential parts of building a more ethical and sustainable Cocoa sector. The Guylian development is a positive step in the right direction and will result in Cocoa farmers in the company’s supply chain receiving the Fairtrade minimum price. In addition, the agreement is expected to generate an additional $500,000 in Fairtrade premiums.
The shift towards sustainable Cocoa production follows a rebrand of the company, launched earlier this year, and includes a move towards more eco-friendly production.
We’ve put sustainability on our new agenda and hope to inspire other chocolate brands to be more thoughtful about their production.Tom Snick, CEO, Guylian
We aim to be a pioneer in chocolate and confections through our meaningful commitment to Fairtrade, as well as through more sustainable raw materials and packaging, and reduced CO2 emissions.
The company has also extended its sustainability-focused changes to its product packaging, which is now 100% recyclable. As of this year, the production site in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, is also “fully climate neutral”. This means that the company has reduced its CO2 emissions to the lowest possible level while offsetting all other emissions.
We are proud to welcome Guylian into the Fairtrade system and are thrilled to see the Fairtrade Mark on its packaging, giving conscious consumers another reason to enjoy indulgent, ethically-sourced chocolate.Carlos Urmeneta, Director of Commercial Partnerships, Fairtrade America
Cocoa farmers and their families are struggling to make a decent income due to climate change, poor soil conditions and long-term low prices. When brands like Guylian choose Fairtrade, they’re committing to people and the planet.