Continuing its commitment to creating a more healthy, just and sustainable food system, Clif Bar & Co. announced a collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance to source certified cocoa for CLIF Bar energy bars, the company’s flagship product. With this announcement, 100 percent of cocoa ingredients for CLIF Bar will be sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms, making the energy bar line the first in its category to commit to certification.
Understanding that agriculture has one of the biggest social and environmental impacts on the planet, Clif Bar & Co. has purchased more than 250 million pounds of organic ingredients since 2002. This new collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance signals that Clif Bar & Co. is taking yet another important step in an ongoing commitment to ecological and just farming practices. This move also gets the company closer to its goal to increase its purchase of USDA organic and certified sustainable ingredients to 80 percent of all the ingredients the company purchases by 2015.
“It is estimated that only one percent of the world’s cocoa is organic, which makes the need for additional sustainable sources of cocoa even greater,” said Kevin Cleary, president and COO of Clif Bar & Co. in a prepared statement. “By sourcing cocoa from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, not only are we expanding our work beyond organic, but we are contributing to fair treatment of labor. As a food company, we recognize the need to improve the global food system. This collaboration helps to move us in the right direction.”
Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa farms support a healthy environment, promote the well-being of workers and their communities and adopt more efficient farming practices. Certified farms curb deforestation, conserve soil and water, reduce waste and minimize use of agrochemicals. Further, farm workers benefit from safe working conditions, just wages and access to education for their children.
"Major food companies can play a key role in helping to transform our global marketplace into a more sustainable model, one that promotes better lands, lives and livelihoods," said Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance. "By sourcing cocoa from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, Clif Bar & Company is directly benefiting the lives of cocoa farming communities and helping to conserve natural resources for future generations."
Fifteen CLIF Bar flavors will include certified cocoa and nine different cocoa-based ingredients will come from cocoa beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, a testament to the depth of the commitment of CLIF Bar & Co. CLIF Bar energy bars carrying the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal on the package will be available to consumers in 2013. As the first energy bar to source cocoa from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, CLIF Bar customers will know that they are helping to improve the quality of life for farm families in addition to helping to conserve the environment.