The Green America Chocolate Scorecard has ranked major chocolate companies on their sustainability and human rights efforts in cocoa supply chains just ahead of the Halloween holiday.
“When bombarded with endless choices, it can be difficult to know which chocolate brands are having a positive impact on the world,” says Todd Larsen, executive co-director of Consumer and Corporate Engagement at Green America. “The aim of Green America’s scorecard is to help consumers feel confident about choosing chocolates that are ethically sourced with high-quality ingredients.”
The three lowest graded companies Godiva, Ferrero and Mondelez performed worse than chocolate standards Lindt, Hershey, Mars and Nestle
The poor rankings are as follows:
- Alter Eco (A)
- Divine (A)
- Endangered Species (A)
- Equal Exchange (A)
- Theo Chocolate (A)
- Tony's Chocolonely (A)
- Guittard (B+)
- Nestle (C+)
- Mars (C+)
- Lindt (C)
- Hershey (C)
- Ferrero (D)
- Mondelez (D)
- Godiva (F)
The scorecard features companies who are Green Business Network members and are screened for their environmental, social justice and human rights practices. Chocolate bars with an "A" rating are addressing farmer income and child labor issues, and are organic/non-GMO certified.
Last year, the network expanded its chocolate scorecard to go beyond commitments about certified chocolate to look at programs that support farmers and address child labor when its found. The scorecards are heavily based on efforts to combat child labor and deforestation.
With the updated scorecard, the network is not only looking at how much certified cocoa a major company has, but it is also looking to see if the company has innovative programs and projects in place to address some of the underlying issues of child in the cocoa supply chain and if the company is addressing deforestation.
It is estimated that over 2 million children are working in cocoa fields in West Africa. In addition, cocoa growing has decimated forests in the Ivory Coast and Ghana.
“This Halloween and every day, children should be able to enjoy candies that aren’t made by child laborers, and those child laborers should be enjoying their childhoods, rather than being forced to work in dangerous conditions,” says Charlotte Tate, labor justice manager at Green America. “However, companies continue to make that a difficult task by not adequately addressing child labor in their supply chain. Big brands must do more to tackle these issues and buying ethically sourced chocolate is one way for consumers to put pressure on brands to change their practices.”