New Initiative to Expand Reach to Smallholder Farmers, Significantly Expanding Blommer's Support for Sustainable Cocoa Farming
Submitted by: The Blommer Chocolate Company
Posted: Jun 24, 2009 – 02:55 PM EST
Jun. 24 /CSRwire/ - East Greenville, Pa. - June 24, 2009 - Blommer Chocolate Company, North America's largest processor of cocoa beans and ingredient chocolate products, today announced a new initiative with the Rainforest Alliance to produce a line of certified cocoa and ingredient chocolate products. Blommer will work with the Rainforest Alliance in helping certified cocoa farmers maintain a healthy environment. The initiative also will help ensure improved, more sustainable livelihoods for participating cocoa communities. Blommer's new Rainforest Alliance Certified(TM) cocoa and ingredient chocolate products are now available in its premium organic line and standard product offers are anticipated in 2010.
In announcing the new venture, Kip Walk, Director, Cocoa Department, Blommer Chocolate Company, said, "Blommer Chocolate Company has a long-established commitment to cocoa sustainability. We believe cocoa farmers must be provided with the skills and knowledge they need to be more productive and profitable if they are to secure a better quality of life for their families and communities. Our new initiative with the Rainforest Alliance significantly broadens our support for cocoa farming communities while expanding the supply of Rainforest Alliance Certified(TM) cocoa to meet growing demand from manufacturers, retail customers and consumers."
"Blommer's move, as the largest cocoa bean processor in North America, to source from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms will make way for a growth of chocolate products in the United States that benefit the environment and farmers and their families," said Edward Millard, Director of Sustainable Landscapes for the Rainforest Alliance.
The Rainforest Alliance will work with cocoa farmers supplying Blommer to help them meet comprehensive standards for sustainability that protect the environment and wildlife and ensure the well being of workers and local communities. Once the farms achieve these requirements, they will receive the Rainforest Alliance Certified(TM) seal. Independent audits not only will ensure that cocoa produced on these farms meets and maintains these standards, but also will provide farmers access to the higher market prices often available for certified cocoa.
About Blommer Chocolate Company.
Blommer Chocolate Company is North America's largest processor of cocoa beans and ingredient chocolate products and serves customers around the world. Founded in 1939, the family run company has been built upon a commitment to quality, consistency and concern for customers.
Blommer is a leader in advancing sustainable cocoa farming, playing an active role in the World Cocoa Foundation and promoting sustainable farming practices through its privately managed programs in Cote d'Ivoire, Indonesia and Ecuador. Most recently, Blommer joined other industry members in funding the Cocoa Livelihoods Program, a collaborative partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that will significantly improve the livelihoods of approximately 200,000 farmers in West and Central Africa. For more information about Blommer Chocolate Company and its commitment to sustainable cocoa farming, please visit www.blommer.com.
About Rainforest Alliance
The Rainforest Alliance is a nonprofit conservation organization that works to conserve biodiversity and protect the rights and welfare of workers, their families and communities. Farms that meet comprehensive standards for sustainability earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified(TM) seal. These standards conserve biodiversity, ensure that soils, waterways and wildlife habitat is protected and that farm workers enjoy decent housing, access to medical care and schools for their children. Farms must commit to a process of continuous improvement and are audited each year in order to maintain their certification. By shopping for products bearing the seal, consumers can support a healthy environment and help to improve the quality of life for farm families. To learn more about the Rainforest Alliance, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.
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