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Magnum Ghana and Magnum Ecuador to carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal

May 5, 2011

As the new Magnum Ghana and Magnum Ecuador ice creams, covered in chocolate made from cocoa from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, are officially launched today, the Rainforest Alliance welcomes Magnum’s commitment to sustainability.

Magnum Ghana is thick milk chocolate -- made with 36 percent cocoa – covering hazelnut ice cream and a delicate milk chocolate sauce. Magnum Ecuador is thick dark chocolate -- made from 62 percent cocoa that covers smooth vanilla ice cream containing swirls of intense dark chocolate.

Responding to today’s launch, Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance, commented:

“With consumer demand for ethically-sourced products increasing all the time, we are delighted with the launch of Magnum Ghana and Ecuador today. Nearly 56,000 metric tons of Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa were produced in 2010, a 319 percent increase over the previous year. Sustainability is clearly becoming more mainstream.”

All farms that are Rainforest Alliance Certified™ have met the environmental, social and economic standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). The SAN standards cover ecosystem conservation, worker rights and safety, wildlife protection, water and soil conservation, agrochemical reduction, decent housing, and legal wages and contracts for workers. Cocoa farmers are nearly all smallholders who need healthy soil and fresh water for their farms to remain productive and profitable.

The Magnum ice cream launch comes just after the launch of the Greening the Cocoa Industry project, an initiative run by the Rainforest Alliance, along with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The aim of the project is to transform production practices in major cocoa production countries and business practices in cocoa and chocolate companies, such that this major industry conserves biodiversity in its production landscapes, provides greater long-term stability to all value chain participants and increases income for smallholder farmers. The key goals of this Greening the Cocoa Industry project -- that will cover 10 countries, including Ghana and Ecuador, in five years -- is to bring 10 percent of the world’s cocoa production – 350,000 tons, farmed on 750,000 hectares by 250,000 farmers – into more sustainable production systems that will measurably improve biodiversity conservation in tropical ecosystems.

Rainforest Alliance certification on cocoa farms began in Ecuador in 1997, thanks to the work of SAN member Conservación y Desarrollo. The local NGO has successfully worked with farmers there on the adoption of sustainable practices, including growing cocoa under the rainforest canopy to curb deforestation, reducing their use of agrochemicals, protecting wildlife habitat, supporting community projects and improving cocoa quality through better post-harvest management.

Like coffee, cocoa can flourish under the shade of the forest canopy, where it supports biodiversity by providing habitat for threatened plant and animal species, protecting natural pollinators and cocoa-pest predators, and creating biological corridors.

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