The Off the Shelf Chocolate range from Cargill’s cocoa & chocolate business is now available with the UTZ Certified label – which for the first time brings certified sustainable chocolate within reach of customers using smaller amounts of chocolate.
Harry Venema, Commercial Director Chocolate for Cargill said:
“We launched Off the Shelf Chocolate to offer our most popular chocolate to customers who want the great taste of Cargill and require smaller amounts – starting from just a single pallet.
“Now as a leader in sustainability, and in response to customer demand, we are making our Off the Shelf dark, milk and white chocolate available with the UTZ Certified label.
“This brings high quality certified sustainable chocolate within reach of our smaller yet valued chocolate customers for the first time, enabling them to offer their consumers products with the reassurance that beans have been cultivated sustainably.”
Sustainability is currently the leading trend in food products generally, as well as chocolate.
This is illustrated by the fact that in 2011 over 10,000 new food products making a sustainability claim were launched in the EU, compared to just over 5,000 in 2009.
Chocolate products are also moving in this direction, with the number launched making a sustainability claim almost doubling over the same period, from 938 in 2009 to 1,770 in 2011.
When buying sustainable chocolate from the Off the Shelf range Cargill’s customers can be confident they are helping farmers who are part of the Cargill Sustainable Cocoa Program.
The UTZ Certified label serves as an impartial guarantee for manufacturers and consumers that the cocoa farmers, cooperatives and farmers’ organisations have been subject to thorough third party auditing.
The Cargill Sustainable Cocoa Program works to secure the long-term sustainability of cocoa production.
It works to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and their families by helping to increase incomes and supporting community projects, so contributing to poverty reduction.
In its Farmer Field Schools Cargill has been training cocoa farmers for more than 10 years and helps tens of thousands of farmers increase yields, improve quality and adopt more sustainable practices.
In 2011/2012 it will train over 60,000 farmers across 90 cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire, through more than 1,100 farmer field schools.
The intensive 10-month programme focuses on farming techniques and post-harvest activities such as pruning, plantation renewal and cocoa fermentation methods, as well as stressing broader social aspects, such as the importance of ensuring children’s education and HIV awareness.
Commenting on the new Off the Shelf range, Daan de Vries, Field Director of UTZ Certified said:
“Many larger chocolate users have responded to the growing sustainability trend, but until now smaller users have found it more difficult to access sustainable chocolate.
“Inclusiveness is an important objective of UTZ, which means the program should be accessible to all sizes of farmers and chocolate makers.
“Therefore, we congratulate Cargill on extending the Off the Shelf range to include sustainable chocolate, enabling those ordering smaller quantities of chocolate to support better farming and a sustainable future.”
The Off the Shelf chocolate range with UTZ Certified label comes in 10 kg boxes and is available to customers in Cargill’s milk, dark and white signature chocolate suitable for applications including bakery, confectionery and ice cream.
To find out more go to their website.