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Theo Chocolate: first Fair for Life certification in U.S.

By Athima Chansanchai · July 15th, 2010 · No Comments

Showing that sweet things come to those with good intentions, Theo Chocolate (3400 Phinney Ave. N.) is now Fair for Life certified by IMO! Fair for Life is a new Fair Trade certification that not only certifies the farmer groups Theo works with, but the entire supply chain, including the Seattle factory and overall business practices — from “bean-to-bar.”

Theo has submitted to third party verification to ensure customers that all of its farmer relationships, business and trading practices are “equitable, responsible and truly Fair Trade.”

AAPTA
Juanita Baltidano, AAPTA President, in the new AAPTA cacao nursery (Theo’s Costa Rican supplier)

Previously, Theo has been certified for its Fair Trade practices by Transfair-USA, a member of the international organization Fairtrade Label Organization (FLO). With the change to IMO (Institute for Marketecology) – an independent, non-profit Swiss-based certifying body, with a reputation for high quality, stringent standard development and inspection in 90 countries – Theo moves into an elite class of fair trade certification that ensures, among other criteria, the absence of child labor, non discrimination and good working conditions.

Switching to the new certification also takes money that would have been spent on licensing fees and uses it to directly develop farmer production quality, education, and social programs.

“A core difference between Transfair and IMO Fair for Life is that IMO’s certification cost to Theo is an annual ‘fee for service’ rather than a licensing fee. This will allow Theo to redirect money previously paid to TransFair for the use of their logo on our packaging, directly to technical assistance for cocoa farmers – enabling Theo to have a much greater impact on the lives of cocoa farmers,” said Joe Whinney, Theo’s founder and CEO.

Nearly everything you might want to know about Theo Chocolate and its new Fair for Life certification can be found in this FAQ.




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