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Green Chocolate

Cocoa Bean

Goodbye, Willy Wonka, hello sustainably farmed chocolate!

Actually, that's increasingly the case, as chocolate manufacturers recognize the sweet market value in sustainable cocoa farming.

Take corporate giants Mars, Cadbury and Kraft. Last year, Mars announced that by 2020, all of its chocolate will come from sustainable sources. Today in Europe, some Cadbury chocolate lines carry the "Fair-Trade" seal. That certifies that a product is made using environmentally and socially responsible practices.

And recently, Kraft announced a new chocolate line, "Cote d'Or," produced on farms that meet the sustainable cocoa farming guidelines of the organization Rainforest Alliance.

Why the attention to this particular sweet? Well, there's a dark side to chocolate. About 70% of the world's cocoa comes from West Africa. And the U.S. State Department reports that cocoa there often gets produced with child labor and using environmentally destructive practices. What's more, several agencies cite chocolate as the second highest crop for pesticide use, after cotton.

On the flip side, when cocoa farmers form cooperatives; switch to sustainable, ethical practices; and buyers support them, cocoa farming can be a sweet success story.

So look for Fair Trade chocolate, and enjoy!

Script by Gail Davis