Sustainability Certification – Sustainability | Mars, Incorporated
Sustainability Certification



We’re 100 percent committed to certifying all of our cacao as sustainably produced by 2020. As the first global chocolate company to make this promise, we’re fast on our way to becoming the world's largest buyer of certified cacao.

Because we can't have a direct relationship with every farmer, we use certification to reach further down the supply chain than we could on our own. Certification creates a set of standards against which cocoa farming can be measured and helps us be sure those standards are being met. This means we know that the cacao we use is produced in a way that is good for farmers and good for the environment.


Everybody benefits from certification — a great example of our Principle of Mutuality in action. Our partner organizations like Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified developed advanced standards for organizing, training and auditing farmers. The process helps farmers organize and gain access to new markets, building better farms and increasing their income. In turn, we get a traceable, safe supply of high-quality and sustainably produced cacao.

Since we buy such a large amount of cacao, we can influence the entire industry by buying more and more certified raw materials. By making certified cocoa the rule rather than the exception, we are increasing the supply of high-quality cocoa to the whole industry by raising standards across the board. But the industry needs to do even better. For certification to make the widespread and lasting difference that is required, many more manufacturers need to commit to certification.


We have the most rigorous certification principles in the business, and we are actively looking to work with any organization that is committed to meeting them. We choose our partner organizations with care — each one must make a real difference to farmers' lives in income, labor practices and skills.

We only work with organizations that are, like us, committed to:

  • Giving farmers the tools they need to increase yields
  • Producing quality cocoa in a sustainable, environmentally beneficial way
  • Helping farmers to significantly increase their incomes

While certification doesn't offer a guarantee — no one can check all of the millions of cacao farms in the world — it does provide incentives. Combined with the other pillars of our approach, including research and technology transfer, it is a powerful force for industry-wide change.


We've invested millions of dollars and committed to milestones that will take us toward our 2020 goal of 100 percent certified cacao. Here’s our plan:

2009: We announced our intention to use 100 percent certified cocoa by 2020
2011: 10 percent of our cocoa came from certified sources
2013: 30 percent of our cocoa came from certified sources
2015: 40 percent of our cocoa came from certified sources
2020: 100 percent of our cocoa will be certified

Mars accounts for 10 percent of the total industry supply of certified cocoa.


ISEAL Alliance

The global association for social and environmental standards

Rainforest Alliance

International certification organization

UTZ Certified

International certification organization

Fairtrade International

International certification organization


A sustainable commodities initiative managed by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Mars has set a goal to have a 100% certified sustainable cocoa supply by the year 2020.