Specialty Food Magazine

JUL-AUG 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 72 of 207

CANDY COUNTER farmers in addition to paying them a decent wage. The Sustainable Agriculture Network conducts the certification process, making sure the farm meets its social and environmental standards before carrying the Rainforest Alliance label. Fair for Life: Madécasse Chocolate, Brooklyn, N.Y., goes a step beyond fair trade in its responsible sourcing focus. Its chocolate bars are produced entirely in Madagascar, from harvesting the beans to sealing the package. Rather than pursue fair-trade certification, which would cost an estimated $3,000 to $5,000 for the farmers, co-founders Brett Beach and Tim McCollum are investing in Fair for Life (fairforlife.net). The Swiss-based program takes a holistic approach, including environmental criteria in addition to fair-trade standards for agriculture, manufacturing and trading operations. The cost to pay the farmers is about the same as fair trade, Beach says—a cost he and his partner will largely absorb—but the yearly audits are somewhat less. The pair believe that manufacturing at the source is critical for helping the local economy. "The value of the beans in the bar is only about 20 percent," Beach says. "The other 80 percent is taken up by sugar costs, manufacturing and packaging." By working with local sugar companies and employing workers for a fair wage at the Madécasse factory in Madagascar, a much greater portion of the community benefits. "No economy can realize its potential unless they can make a finished product." When asked about cost considerations, Jenna Larson, public relations specialist at Fair Trade USA, says the fee for certification varies depending on the size of the farm. She emphasizes that the organization offers fundraising and scholarship opportunities to help farmers offset certification costs. "Paying for certification is important because it means that the farmers themselves own the certificate and are then able to sell to whomever they choose under the Fair Trade terms," she explains. Larson says Fair Trade USA has rarely heard about cacao companies not going for certification because of cost. "What we do hear is that they wish there was a greater supply of fair-trade cacao from the regions they source from. This is something we're working on." Sweeten up your gluten-free lifestyle! Visit us at the Fancy Food Show at booth #5123! sales@stickyfingersbakeries.com • www.stickyfingersbakeries.com • 1.800.458.5826 Summer Fancy Food Show Booth 5123 58 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com

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