One of the most difficult issues associated with sustainable sourcing is whether companies should adopt third party standards or develop in-house schemes. Recent developments suggest the pendulum is swinging towards in-house sustainable sourcing schemes.
An ethical British chocolate brand, Green & Black’s, has launched a new product which is the company’s first product that is not certified organic and/or fairtrade. Instead, the brand has decided to source cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic according to its parent company’s Cocoa Life sustainability programme. Confectionery, food, and beverage manufacturer Mondelēz Foods has already dropped fairtrade certification for its Cadbury’s dairy milk chocolate, and all its chocolates in the UK and Ireland will carry the Cocoa Life sustainability logo by 2019.
Also in the UK, supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has recently decided to drop fairtrade certification for its private label teas, and decided to work directly with African tea groups and co-operatives to develop its own ‘Fairly Traded’ scheme.
There are many benefits for large food companies and retailers to develop their in-house sustainable sourcing schemes, according to Ecovia Intelligence. Apart from providing greater control and less bureaucracy, such schemes can easily be integrated into their wider sustainability programmes.
Sustainable coffee now has a market share of over 30 percent of total coffee. The market share of sustainable tea and cocoa is also above 20 percent because of similar commitments by large companies. Whether the future is with third party standards or in-house schemes, the market share of sustainable ingredients is expected to increase.
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