The makers of Dove chocolates now have one more thing they can “promise” consumers - sustainable cocoa.

The candy, made by Mars Chocolate North America, will be the first mainstream chocolate brand in the United States to bear the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal on its dark chocolate products.

Beginning in the fall, Dove Brand Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate will source 100% of its cocoa volume from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, and the packaging will bear the organization’s green frog seal in January 2012.

“The launch of Dove Dark Chocolate products featuring the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal marks a significant milestone for the U.S. chocolate market,” says Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance. “In addition to providing consumers with the sustainably produced goods they demand, Dove brand’s commitment will have a momentous impact on cocoa farming communities and their local environments.”

The move is part of Mars’ effort to use 100% certified sustainable cocoa in all of its products worldwide by 2020. Mars is the first and only major manufacturer to make this commitment.

The certified cocoa will be traced to the factory and matched to the volumes used to manufacture a slew of products, including: Dove Dark Chocolate as singles, large bars and Dove Promises; Dove Dark Chocolate - Roasted Almond in large bars and Dove Promises; and Dove Dark Chocolate - 71% Cacao Large bars.

“We’re thrilled to offer the same Dove Rich Dark Chocolate taste with the added benefit of supporting cocoa farmers and a healthy environment,” says Debra A. Sandler, chief consumer officer for Mars Chocolate North America.

During 2010, nearly 56,000 metric tons of cocoa was produced on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms - a 319% increase over the previous year.

Rainforest Alliance Certified farms curb deforestation, conserve soil and water, reduce waste and provide habitat for wildlife. Through certification, farm workers benefit from decent wages, safe work conditions, dignified housing, health care and access to education for their children. Farmers also learn to control costs, increase production, improve quality, manage their natural resources and protect the environment.

For more information on Mars, visit; For more information on the Rainforest Alliance, visit