Belvas strives to improve sustainability with the Fairtrade mission statement

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Belgian organic chocolate brand Belvas aims to set a higher sustainability standard, becoming what it believes to be the first company in the segment to aim for 100% fair trade, writes Dominique Huret.

The company, which has already been named as Europe’s greenest mciro company on the continent, has been keen to push its standards forward.

“We want to guarantee a fair income to cocoa farmers in all their sales. Belvas is the market leader in Europe for organic and fair trade pralines and truffles.

“Our name “Belvas” is a contraction of “Bel” for Belgium, and “VAS” meaning “Added Value for the South”. So creating a new edge in the chocolate industry, by building together a production of cocoa mass (also called: cocoa liquor) in Daloa, Ivory Coast, was just the next step,” explained the owner and founder of Belvas, Thierry Noesen.

With 45,000 tons of cocoa harvested per year, Ecookim is the union of 23 cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire. Together they are the largest cocoa cooperative in Côte d’Ivoire, and therefore in the world.

Ecookim was the first player towards Fairtrade certification. Since April 1, the price of the raw material has fallen by 25%. Noesen: “Of course, Belvas maintains its guaranteed price to our partner farmers at the old level, so their income is secure.

“The extreme poverty that cocoa farmers live in does not seem to be a driver within the cocoa industry to keep prices at fair levels. By paying a premium, Belvas has already brought €400,000 in additional income to farmers.

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