Callebaut releases Fairtrade range

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 16th November 2010

Gourmet chocolate brand Callebaut, owned by Belgian chocolate giant Barry Callebaut, has announced the launch of a new Fairtrade range of chocolate products.

Callebaut’s four classic recipes – 811 (dark), 823 (milk), W2 (white) and 70-30-38 (dark) – are the preferred choice of confectioners, pastry chefs and chocolatiers all over the world. They have become global standards, often copied but never equaled in taste, flavor, quality and workability.

From January 2011 these products will be available in both the conventional formulations as well as Fairtrade certified formulations, called Callebaut Fairtrade.

The new range of Callebaut Fairtrade certified chocolates offer customers the opportunity to develop new artisanal products with Fairtrade certified chocolate.

As part of its Fairtrade marketing program, Callebaut will provide customers with promotional Point-of-Sale materials, including posters, doorstickers and brochures, so they can communicate their commitment to work with Fairtrade certified chocolate at their point of sale. Callebaut Fairtrade products will be sold in all countries through Callebaut’s traditional Gourmet sales channels.

“As the global leader in cocoa and chocolate, a focus on sustainability is an imperative for our company, not an option. For a long time now we are actively engaged in origin countries by working together with farmers and cooperatives directly and at the same time we have been involved in various initiatives and projects, all contributing to a more sustainable cocoa supply chain. Our association with Fairtrade for example goes back many years and we are proud to be a Fairtrade preferred
supplier of certified chocolate,” said Juergen Steinemann, CEO of Barry Callebaut.

“In the recent past, we increasingly received requests for certified products from Gourmet customers across the globe. The move to offer the four Callebaut classics also in a Fairtrade variety has been welcomed by chocolatiers and pastry chefs worldwide. They are delighted that it is now so easy for them to offer artisanal products containing Fairtrade chocolate and to communicate about it to their customers,” said Olivier Schucht, Vice President Gourmet at Barry Callebaut.

Today, more than five million people – farmers, workers and their families – across 60 developing countries participate in the international Fairtrade system, including cocoa, sugar and natural vanilla producers. These are key ingredients in chocolate. Fairtrade strives for improved terms of trade and fair prices for farmers and workers in the global south that help them combat poverty, strengthen their position in the agricultural sector and take more control over their lives.

In order to attain the Fairtrade system certification, farmer organizations must comply with the economic, environmental and social standards defined by Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International (FLO). FLO is a non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization made up of 24 member organizations worldwide. It is responsible for the strategic direction of Fairtrade, setting the Fairtrade standards and supporting producers in developing countries.

Lily Deforce, Director of Max Havelaar Belgium, the Belgian Fairtrade Labelling Initiative, strongly welcomes the new Callebaut commitment: “The new Fairtrade launch under the Callebaut brand further expands the market access of African farmers, mainly from Ivory Coast, who need better income for their cocoa. Fairtrade provides an independent guarantee for fair remuneration and decent living and working conditions. Together with Callebaut we can help improve the plight of farmers in Ivory Coast and enable them to take their future into their own hands.”

Ivory Coast is one of the poorest countries in the world but produces 35% of the world’s cocoa, with one in four people depending directly or indirectly on cocoa farming. The country has high levels of illiteracy. In Ivory Coast, the Fairtrade premium is often used by cooperatives for basic community needs such as water access, healthcare and education.