Guylian agrees Fairtrade mark for its US chocolate ranges

Premium chocolate brand Guylian has confirmed a deal with Fairtrade America for a new partnership underlining the confectionery brand’s commitment to ethical trading, writes Neill Barston.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Belgian business is set to use 100% Fairtrade Mark cocoa, which will be represented on all its packaging.

As the global movement noted, the partnership signals the chocolate company’s desire to see a fairer deal for farmers to achieve a living income in core markets of Ghana and Ivory Coast – where many in the sector presently earn less than $1 day, well below UN poverty definitions.

The newly Fairtrade marked confectionery lines from Guylian will be stocked across the US at retailers like Albertsons, Raley’s and Top’s.

As Fairtrade America noted, globally, cocoa and chocolate together are a $48.29 billion industry that is expected to grow.

Yet, cocoa farmers are currently battling inflation, rising production costs, the climate crisis and COVID-19 related challenges while the price they earn for cocoa hasn’t risen to meet these changes. A fairer deal is essential to a sustainable future for cocoa farmers and the consumers who enjoy their beloved chocolates.

Making key changes within the supply chain, like sourcing 100% of their cocoa from Fairtrade farmers as Guylian is doing, demonstrates progress in the right direction. By converting to Fairtrade cocoa, Guylian will provide West African cocoa farmers in its supply chain not only the Fairtrade Minimum Price for cocoa, but also nearly $500,000 in Fairtrade Premiums. Farmer organisations are empowered to democratically determine how to spend those Premium funds, whether it be on community projects, farmer education or farming inputs like shade trees or seedlings.

Consequently, Guylian continues to shift its focus towards sustainability as part of a comprehensive rebrand launched earlier this year, which includes transitioning to more eco-friendly production. As a result, the brand’s chocolate Seashells with hazelnut pralineé, as well as its individually wrapped chocolates and a range of 100g premium bars, now have an improved recipe and come in refreshed and modernised packaging with the distinctive blue and green Fairtrade Mark on the front.

“We’ve put sustainability high on our new agenda and hope to inspire other chocolate brands to be more thoughtful about their production,” said Tom Snick, Guylian’s CEO. “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.”

On top of Fairtrade commitments, Guylian’s new packaging is fully recyclable, furthering the brand’s commitment towards sustainable production and reducing use of paper and plastic. Since the start of this year, its production site in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, is also “fully climate neutral”, which means that CO2 emissions have been reduced to the lowest possible level and all other emissions are offset. These new changes follow the brand’s 2018 removal of palm oil and soy from its chocolate recipe to be more eco-friendly and help prevent deforestation.

“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,” said 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.”



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