Belgian premium chocolate brand Guylian confirms plans to convert to Fairtrade cocoa

Belgian premium chocolate brand Guylian has formed a partnership with Fairtrade, which will see the brand convert 100% of its cocoa to align with the global ethical movement, writes Neill Barston.

As the company revealed in a recent interview with its CEO Tom Snick, it has placed sustainability at the heart of its business model, with its latest move set to deliver a number of key benefits.

According to Fairtrade, the chocolate brand’s conversion to the cause with its renowned premium seashells will see almost USD $495,624 in Fairtrade Premium go back to West African cocoa farmers in Guylian’s supply chain which they will democratically decide how to spend.

As a result, the chocolate with hazelnut praliné sold across four continents and in 120 countries, now has a new recipe and comes in new packaging and carries the distinctive blue and green Fairtrade logo.

From relaunch, Guylian will offer a selected limited curated range, which will be available all year round in the UK. The focus is primarily on the Seashells and seahorses, as well as on the individually wrapped Seahorses and a range of 100g premium tablets. In addition, Guylian will also be launching themed packaging around the key annual gifting moments. Finally, the packaging for the duty-free channel will also get a makeover.

Guylian’s CEO Tom Snick said: “We’ve put sustainability high on our new agenda. We want to set the tone for all chocolate brands with these developments. We are consciously choosing a pioneering role by completely engaging with sustainability in terms of Fairtrade, raw materials, packaging and CO2 emissions.”

All new packaging has been designed to be fully recyclable. Guylian is also looking into ways of further reducing its use of paper and plastic. Since the start of this year, the production site in Sint-Niklaas is “fully climate neutral”, which means that CO2 emissions have been reduced to the lowest possible level and all other emissions are compensated. Finally, since 2018, palm oil and soya are no longer used in the production process in order to prevent deforestation.

Michael Gidney, CEO at the Fairtrade Foundation said: “It’s great to see the distinctive Fairtrade logo now appear on Guylian’s packaging in stores nationwide, giving chocolate lovers another reason to enjoy an indulgent, ethically sourced sweet treat that’s been produced with the planet in mind and where cocoa farmers have been treated fairly.

“Cocoa farmers and their families are struggling to make ends meet due to climate change, poor soil quality and long-term low prices. When you choose Fairtrade, you choose education, empowerment, fairer incomes and training to help farmers adapt to climate change.”

Fairtrade sets social, economic and environmental standards for both companies and farmers and workers. For companies that includes paying a fair price and a Premium for the produce, for farmers it includes workers’ rights and protection of the environment. This allows cocoa farmers to earn a decent income, their human rights are respected and the environment is protected.

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