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Sustainable Partners

FAQ: Sustainable Partners

What is the Sustainable Agricultural Network (SAN)?

The Sustainable Agricultural Network (SAN) is the oldest and largest coalition of NGOs striving to improve commodity production in the tropics. SAN standards cover ecosystem conservation, good living conditions, water and soil conservation, waste reduction, agrochemical reduction and wildlife protection. These standards ensure farm workers are provided with safe working conditions, decent wages, healthcare and access to education for their children. SAN accreditation also includes ISO65 requirements and additional criteria to ensure high quality audits.

What is TCHOSource?

TCHOSourceTM is the name of TCHO's program to obtain the best beans in the world while enabling the producers of those beans to earn a better living. We do this by embracing as valued partners the farmers who grow our cacao - the way Napa Valley winemakers work closely with partner growers to foster best practices, and then buy their premium grapes at premium prices. (Source: TCHOSource.)

TCHO is a key partner of Purdys Chocolatier. Head Chocolatier Gary Mitchell and Chocolate Scientist Peter Higgins worked directly with the TCHOScource team to develop the specific, proprietary flavour profiles and ingredients for Purdys' Single Origin Bars.

What is Cocoa Horizons?

Cocoa Horizons - is a unique cocoa sustainability program developed by Barry Callebaut, the world's largest cocoa and chocolate manufacturer, and our subsidiary Societé Africaine de Cacao (SACO) in Ivory Coast. Cocoa Horizons supports cooperatives in their efforts to serve the needs of their cocoa farmer members. It enables and encourages farmers to grow and produce cocoa in a sustainable, responsible way. (Source: Cocoa Horizons.)

Barry Callebaut is a key partner of Purdys Chocolatier. Head Chocolatier Gary Mitchell and Chocolate Scientist Peter Higgins work directly with Callebaut to create the specific, proprietary blends of Belgium chocolate that make up Purdys' white, milk and dark chocolate varietals.

What is Rainforest Alliance (RFA)?

The Rainforest Alliance (RFA) is an international non-profit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods. The Rainforest Alliance uses the power of markets to arrest the major drivers of deforestation and environmental destruction: timber extraction, agricultural expansion, cattle ranching and tourism. We work to ensure millions of acres of working forests, farms, ranchlands and hotel properties are managed according to rigorous sustainability standards. And by linking those businesses to conscientious consumers, who identify their goods and services through the Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM seal and Rainforest Alliance VerifiedTM mark, we demonstrate that sustainable practices can help businesses thrive in the modern economy.

Rainforest Alliance certification ensures farms have met the comprehensive environmental, social and economic standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). The SAN standards cover ecosystem conservation, water and soil conservation, waste reduction, agrochemical reduction and wildlife protection. Further, these standards ensure farm workers are provided with safe work conditions, good living conditions, decent wages, healthcare and access to education for their children.

Unlike Fair Trade, which focuses on the price at which products are traded, or organic, which focuses on soil health, Rainforest Alliance certification focuses on whole farm management. It empowers farmers to be better business people, to control costs, increase production, improve quality, build their own competence in trading, build workforce and community cohesion and pride, manage their precious natural resources and protect the environment. (Source: RFA and Blommer.)

Blommer is a chocolate maker who works directly with RFA to improve the lives of cocoa farmers around the world.

Blommer is a key partner of Purdys Chocolatier. Head Chocolatier Gary Mitchell and Chocolate Scientist Peter Higgins work directly with Blommer to create the specific, proprietary blends of Belgium chocolate that make up Purdys' white, milk and dark chocolate varietals.

What is Fair Trade?

The term Fair Trade defines a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers - especially in developing countries.

Fairtrade refers to all or any part of the activities of FLO eV, FLO-CERT, Fairtrade producer networks, Fairtrade labelling initiatives and Fairtrade marketing organizations. Fairtrade is used to denote the product certification system operated by Fairtrade International (FLO). (Source: Fairtrade.)

Is Purdys Fairtrade certified?

Each of our suppliers subscribes to a sustainability program The Rainforest Alliance (RFA), Cocoa Horizons and TCHOSource. Purdys has ensured each of these programs supports our two pillars of sustainability and meets or exceeds our standards for growing sustainable cocoa.

At this time, Purdys is not Fairtrade certified. We source our chocolate from different suppliers all over the world - Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Peru and Ecuador. Buying from different suppliers allows us to create the vast ranges of delicious chocolates you have come to know and love from Purdys. Purdys chooses to fund development work directly by buying only from farmer co-ops that meet the standards of our Sustainable Cocoa Program as we feel more money goes directly to farmers.

Through our own chocolate shops we have the ability to talk directly to our customers about the development work we are funding. Companies that only sell their chocolates through shelves in grocery stores may choose to use third party labelling as the primary way to communicate with their customers.

Purdys is also a member of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) whom we fund directly.

What is the World Cocoa Foundation?

Founded in 2000, the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is an international membership organization representing more than 100 member companies across the cocoa value chain. We are committed to creating a sustainable cocoa economy by putting farmers first - promoting agricultural and environmental stewardship, and strengthening development in cocoa-growing communities.

WCF operates at the local and global level, bridging the needs of cocoa farmers and their families with the needs of the cocoa industry and the environment. Drawing on the strength of our members, and our partner network, we combine unique industry experience, expertise and influence to deliver the necessary social, agricultural and economic advances to promote a healthy, sustainable cocoa economy that benefits everyone from producer to consumer.

WCF works through public-private partnerships that bring together donors, industry members, producing country governments, research institutes and non-governmental organizations to achieve its goals. The foundation is based in Washington, DC, and supports programs that benefit farmers in cocoa-growing regions of Africa, Southeast Asia and the Americas.

WCF supports programs that work with farmers at the farm level, prior to sale or commercialization of their cocoa. In this way, the programs provide farmers with the skills they need to operate productive farms and make sound business decisions. (Source: World Cocoa Foundation.)

How do sustainable cocoa programs such as Cocoa Horizons, RFA and TCHOSource work?

The Rainforest Alliance (RFA), Cocoa Horizons and TCHOSource are the sustainability programs of the suppliers from whom we purchase all our chocolate. For more information on each of these programs, click on the corresponding links above.

How can Purdys ensure the cocoa used is sustainable? Are there ways to trace the cocoa?

RFA and SAN require that all businesses buying, trading, or mixing products from certified farms must achieve SAN/Rainforest Alliance Chain-of-Custody certification in order to call their product Rainforest Alliance Certified. (Source: RFA.)

Cocoa Horizons co-operatives are trained on how to integrate quality standards into their business processes and are required to uphold the principles defined by international labour standards. The quality of the cocoa delivered by farmers is checked at the collection centres run and managed by these Cocoa Horizons member co-operatives. (Source: Cocoa Horizons.)

TCHOSource is the unique program dedicated to partnering directly with growers and working closely with them to produce great cocoa. TCHO provides the innovation, technology and know-how that empowers them to improve their livelihoods and hone their craft. (Source: TCHO.)

RFA uses the SAN-specific Chain-of-Custody certification for traceability purposes. Cocoa Horizons checks are conducted by the farmer co-operative partners. TCHO works directly with farmer partners to ensure sustainability standards are met.

What processes are in place within the Cocoa Horizons, RFA and TCHOSource programs to ensure sustainable cocoa practices are being upheld?

SAN and Rainforest Alliance have worked together to develop the SAN/RFA Accreditation Program for certification bodies in order to expand global certification capacity for Rainforest Alliance certification and ensure highly credible certification processes centered on quality, integrity, and competitiveness. SAN/RA accreditation includes ISO65 requirements and additional SAN criteria to ensure high quality audits. The standards developed by the SAN Secretariat comply with the Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards of the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling (ISEAL) Alliance. Furthermore, the Rainforest Alliance and SAN require that all businesses buying, trading, or mixing products from certified farms must achieve SAN/Rainforest Alliance Chain-of-Custody certification in order to call their product Rainforest Alliance Certified. (Source: RFA.)

Barry Callebaut offers similar systems of checks and balances, working with organizations such as IMO Social & Fair Cocoa Practices, UTZ Certified 'Good Inside' Standard Program, Fair Trade (FLO) as well as their own rigorous internal practices and standards. For example, KPMG performs regular financial audits to verify the quantities (kgs) of cocoa submitted by each co-op are in line with the Cocoa Horizons program. If the documented numbers fail to meet Cocoa Horizons standards or there is any indication that a co-op is submitting cocoa from an outside source, Barry Callebaut terminates the relationship with the co-op.

To be considered for the Cocoa Horizons, cooperatives must agree to undergo an independent audit. Participating co-ops must agree to and sign a charter underscoring their commitment to the program. Barry Callebaut commissions regular independent audits of participating Cocoa Horizons cooperatives to ensure that co-ops comply with our standards for responsible business practices. (Source: Cocoa Horizons.)

Through their TCHOSource program, TCHO chooses to work directly with farmers to source their own beans and control the production process from fermentation and roasting through to conching, etc. The TCHOScource program is based on direct investment, involvement and partnership with farmers, rather than third-party labelling.

What happens if a farmer co-op is found in violation of a sustainability standard?

If a farmer co-op is found to be in violation of any sustainable cocoa farming policies, the relationship with the co-op is terminated and no more beans are purchased from that co-op.

What is the difference between Purdys' Sustainable Cocoa Program and Fair Trade?

There is almost no difference between Purdys' Sustainable Cocoa Program and sustainability like Fairtrade. We believe more money goes directly to the farmers instead of third party labelling, marketing and advertising.