Can a “fair trade” chocolate bar contain no fair trade cocoa?

The answer sadly is yes, and soon. Fair Trade USA’s recent departure from FLO is ushering in a new era of fair trade standards and policies with major implications for fair trade producers, businesses and consumers. As FTUSA’s graphic explains below, a product need contain only 11% certified fair trade ingredients to carry the Fair Trade Certified (Ingredients) label.? To carry the Fair Trade Certified mark, a product must contain only 25% certified fair trade ingredients. So Hershey’s, a perennial target for shirking corporate responsibility and fair trade (see Raise the Bar campaign), could place the FTUSA mark on their chocolate bars with no certified fair trade cocoa. For example, Hershey’s could source only fair trade sugar for their chocolate bar, but no fair trade cocoa, and still carry the FTUSA mark. So much for FTUSA “raising the bar.”

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