As it turns out, when it comes to chocolate trends, eco-chic is on top. Despite the economic climate, major candy producing companies are hopping on the bandwagon and getting their chocolate green certified. The trend of going green has already picked up among restaurants, with programs available through such organizations such as the Green Restaurant Association.
In the chocolate market, three third-party organizations, Fair Trade USA, Rainforest Alliance, and UTZ Certified are leading the way for the certification process. Each one targets a different area of social consciousness—The Fair Trade USA program focuses on maintaining fair and equal pay relationships between chocolate producers and cocoa bean farmers, while the certification program offered by the Rainforest Alliance focuses on improving forest conservation practices among producers. UTZ Certified, based out of the Netherlands, takes an agricultural approach that focuses on improving farm management and efficiency.
One of the largest producers of chocolate candy, Mars Inc, has pledged to certify their entire line of confections (which includes Snickers and M&Ms) by 2020.