OAKLAND, March 7, 2018 – Fair Trade USA, the leading certifier of Fair Trade products in North America, and PUR Projet, a social business working with companies to regenerate ecosystems, announce a new partnership to develop community-driven agroforestry projects within Fair Trade supply chains in Côte d’Ivoire. Côte d’Ivoire produces about 39% of the world’s cocoa and has lost about 85% of its forest since the 1960s largely due to agricultural expansion. The partnership will equip cocoa producers to better revitalize and protect their land through means such as:

  • Increased trainings & community monitoring to reduce likelihood of farming in protected forests
  • Key infrastructure and capacity to implement agro-forestry projects
  • Income diversification for farmers to increase income and reduce dependency on cocoa yield.

"PUR Projet is proud to partner with Fair Trade USA to initiate this new program," says Andrew Nobrega, Director North America/UK at PUR Projet. "The partnership provides the opportunity to leverage Fair Trade USA’s extensive experience in empowering and building institutional capacity with local cocoa-producing communities in the region, while integrating PUR Projet's model for community-based ecosystem restoration and conservation."

As with other well-known Fair Trade Certified™ products like coffee and tea, Fair Trade Certified cocoa products must adhere to rigorous, independently audited standards for sourcing and trading. These standards help to protect fundamental human rights, prevent forced and child labor, establish safe working conditions, and enable responsible natural resource management. This is especially important in an industry with a history of deforestation.

“PUR Projet’s model of community-led agroforestry is a wonderful complement to the Fair Trade program,” said Ken Redding, Chief Commercial Officer at Fair Trade USA. “We are so grateful to be able to include their expertise and passion in the critical fight against deforestation in Cote d’Ivoire.”

For food companies, cocoa supply chains are amongst the riskiest, wrought with labor and environmental challenges like deforestation. As consumers continue to vote with their dollar for sustainably sourced chocolate (which is growing at a rate of 8.6 percent vs. 3.2 in the overall chocolate category), more and more brands are turning to Fair Trade certification.  Fair Trade USA currently certifies over 11,500 products with challenging ingredient supply chains, many of which will be promoted at Natural Products Expo West. Reach out here to learn more.


About Fair Trade USA

Fair Trade USA is a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable livelihoods for farmers and workers, protects fragile ecosystems, and builds strong, transparent supply chains through independent, third-party certification. Its trusted Fair Trade Certified™ label signifies that rigorous standards have been met in the production, trade and promotion of Fair Trade products from over 80 countries across the globe. Recognized as a leading social venture by the Clinton Global Initiative, the Skoll Foundation and Ashoka, Fair Trade USA also provides critical capacity-building programs at origin, and educates consumers about the power of their purchase. Visit www.FairTradeCertified.org for more information.

About PUR Projet

PUR Projet is an international social business, specialized in the development of social and environmental positive impact projects within the supply chains of partner companies. PUR Projet operates across multiple animal and plant-based supply chains, in >40 countries across the globe, focusing on ecosystem restoration, farm-level production quality and local community livelihoods. For more information regarding this program, please contact Andrew Nobrega, Director North America at andrew.nobrega@purprojet.com.