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Chocolate can be sweet, bitter or rich, but here at Kashi®, we think of it as tasty. We also think it’s important to ensure that our chocolate benefits the land and community it comes from. So, our marketing and supply chain managers took a trip in 2015 to Ghana, where we source a majority of our chocolate, to visit the Cocoa Institute of Ghana. We learned a lot on our trip and we’ve used what we learned to ensure that our chocolate is sourced in a way that benefits the environment, individual farmers, and the broader communities in which they live. Take our updated Chewy Granola Bars for example. 100 percent of the cocoa in those bars that contain chocolate is now responsibly sourced.

We know we’re just a small part of the team that wants to move responsibly sourced cocoa forward, so let’s talk about two major players that we’re lucky enough to work with: Fair Trade USA and Cocoa Horizons.

We support these organizations by paying a premium on every pound of chocolate that we purchase from them. Also, Fair Trade USA and Cocoa Horizons are both third party verified, which means there’s traceability to ensure that premiums are sent back to the farmers and communities where our chocolate is sourced.

Specifically, Fair Trade USA and Cocoa Horizons work hard to make sure those premiums support farmer and child education, women empowerment, child labor monitoring and sensitization training, farmer financing and community health and sanitation training. That means by purchasing products with Fair Trade USA or Cocoa Horizons chocolate, you’re positively contributing to cocoa farming communities.

We began our work with Cocoa Horizons in 2017 and predict that in our first full year we will purchase around 1.2 million pounds of responsibly sourced cocoa.

Kashi began purchasing Fair Trade USA cocoa in 2015, with 35,000 pounds. In 2016, we were able to dramatically grow that number to 275,000 pounds and we’re projecting that in 2018 we’ll purchase around 850,000 pounds. That’s means we’ve increased our Fair Trade USA cocoa by 24 times what we sourced three years ago! Moving forward, all Kashi innovation that has chocolate will be made with responsibly sourced cocoa.

We hope you share our pride in doing the right thing for the environment, the farmers, and the local communities that grow our chocolate. Thank you for joining us on this journey.