Belvas strives to enhance sustainability with Fairtrade mission statement

Belgian-organic chocolate brand Belvas, has aimed to set an enhanced sustainability standard, in becoming what it believes is the first company in the segment to target being 100% Fairtrade, writes Dominique Huret.

The company, which has been previously named as Europe’s most ecological mciro company in the continent, has been keen to further its standards.

“We want to guarantee a fair income for the cocoa farmers in all their sales. Belvas is market leader in Europe for Organic & Fairtrade Pralines and truffles.

“Our name “Belvas” is a contraction of “Bel” for Belgium, and “VAS” meaning “Value Added for the South”. So setting a new edge in the chocolate industry, by building together a cocoa mass (also named: cocoa liquor) production in Daloa, Ivory Coast was just the next step”, explained Belvas owner and founder Thierry Noesen.

With 45.000 tons of cocoa crop per year, Ecookim is the union of 23 cooperatives in Ivory Coast. Together they are the biggest cocoa cooperative in Ivory Coast, and thus in the world.

Ecookim has been the first mover towards Fairtrade certification. Since 1 April, the price for the raw material has dropped by 25%. Noesen: “Of course, Belvas keeps its guaranteed price to our partner farmers at the old level, so their revenue is safe.

“The extreme poverty in which the cocoa farmers are living seems not to be a driver within the cocoa industry to keep the prices at fair levels. By paying a premium, Belvas has already contributed €400,000 in additional revenue for farmers.”

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