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Rainforest Alliance Controlled Blending

An Insider's Look at Cocoa Certification

You do everything in your power to be a good consumer, citizen and conservationist. When you shop, you choose Earth-friendly products endorsed by credible third-party certification bodies. Naturally, you assume that products bearing certification labels like Fair Trade and the Rainforest Alliance actually contain ingredients from farms and forests that meet these organizations’ standards for social, environmental and economic sustainability.

But, that’s not always the case. A certification label on your chocolate bar doesn’t always mean that a product contains 100 percent certified cocoa -- it could mean, for example, that a chocolate company buys 20 percent of its beans from certified farms and is labeling 20 percent of its products (regardless of the actual certified content in each item) with a seal in accordance with a system called “mass balance.” As an alternative, the Rainforest Alliance created a system called “controlled blending.” After you read about both methods, we think you’ll understand why we prefer controlled blending.

Learn more

What is “mass balance”?
Why is mass balance an option?
What are the downsides to mass balance?
What is "controlled blending"?
How does controlled blending compare to mass balance?
What are the benefits of controlled blending?
How do farmers benefit from controlled blending?
Who can use controlled blending?
Is controlled blending used for other crops?
Does controlled blending guarantee that there is Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa in my chocolate bar?
How can I know if a seal-bearing product has been made using controlled blending?

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