Chocolove is changing to a new social responsibility certification. Our products are now carrying the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal – the iconic “green frog” – to demonstrate we are sourcing from farms that produce cocoa "grown in ways that benefit farm families, wildlife and the environment." It may be news to some, but Chocolove has for many years sourced the cocoa beans that go into our chocolate from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.
In 2017, Europe saw consolidation of labor and land certification schemes. Our previous social responsibility certifier, IMO (Fair For Life), based in Zurich, was acquired by a larger European firm called Ecocert, which decided to no longer accept Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa beans under the Fair For Life program. Simultaneously, the Rainforest Alliance merged with the Netherlands-based firm UTZ, with the aim to increase scale and impact and streamline farm certification.
The Rainforest Alliance had set up and trained many farmer coops on labor and land practices for the farmer cooperatives from which we source. Our Belgian chocolate supplier had further trained the same farmer cooperatives on quality and had agreed to long-term contracts to purchase cocoa beans from them for 1 to 2 years into the future. So when we were faced with making the decision between certification programs, we chose to stay with and support the farmers who have opted into responsible labor and land practices and have improved their operations and quality under the Rainforest Alliance program. These farmers trusted us with their future and we will continue to stick with them.
In short, Chocolove continues to value our social, sustainable, and ethical principles. The premium quality of our chocolate is the same, the cocoa farmers who we source from are the same, and the certification program on the farms is the same. The Rainforest Alliance has in fact raised the bar for their farm certification over the years and now, together with UTZ , we again find our best fit.
Look for the Rainforest Alliance Certified green frog seal on Chocolove packaging beginning in May 2018.