LITITZ, PA. — Cargill will make certification options available to its North American customers for Cargill’s Gerkens cocoa powders as well as its Peter’s, Wilbur and Veliche chocolate brands. The certification options are UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade.

“It means manufacturers will be able to offer products to their consumers with greater reassurance they have been produced sustainably and that they are making a positive difference to smallholder cocoa farms,” said Bryan Wurscher, president of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business in North America.

UTZ Certified stands for sustainable farming and better opportunities for farmers and their families. The UTZ program is designed to enable farmers to learn better farming methods, improve working conditions and take better care of their children and the environment.

Through its mission, the Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.

Products that bear the Fairtrade logo come from farmers and workers who are justly compensated. Fairtrade helps farmers in developing countries build sustainable businesses that positively influence their communities.

Cargill is training more than 60,000 cocoa farmers in the Ivory Coast and 15,000 more in Ghana. The company is on target to source more than 100,000 tons of certified sustainable cocoa beans from the Ivory Coast by 2015. Cargill is active in other cocoa producing markets, including Cameroon, Brazil, Vietnam and Indonesia.