Organic and Fairtrade trailblazer brand Green & Black’s has launched a ‘Velvet Edition’ chocolate range in the UK that is neither organic nor Fairtrade.
The move follows a similar development in the US where, in November, the brand launched an almost identically branded ‘discovery’ range of non-organic products. At the time, the company said that “products in the UK continue to organic”.
Green & Black’s decision to launch an extensive (12-product strong) non-organic range will disappoint the UK organic industry, which has been coordinating a national campaign to communicate the multiple benefits of organic and keep the sector on its current growth path.
There is also concern that the decision to drop the Fairtrade logo – switching to cocoa beans sourced under the Cocoa Life intiative, set up by Mondelēz International (the US-based parent company of Green & Black’s) – will further damage future prospects of the beleaguered Fairtrade scheme. Rachel Wilshaw, ethical trade manager for Oxfam GB, told The Guardian: “There is a risk of shoppers being left confused as some brands and retailers move away from the Fairtrade scheme to introduce their own certification schemes. With the Fairtrade mark on products, consumers are clear about what they are getting.”