Standards in the cocoa sector

Certified cocoa is commonly defined as cocoa that includes the three pillars of sustainability. The concept of sustainability in this realm includes such aspects as ‘economic viability for farmers’, ‘environmental conservation’ and ‘social responsibility’. Certification is the procedure by which an independent third party certification body gives written assurance that the quality of the cocoa and the production process has been assessed and conforms to specified requirements.


Independent monitoring and certification are central to the four major cocoa production standards: Fairtrade, Organic, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified. Other cocoa is sold under a sustainability initiative that is designed by a private company, Starbucks’ Cocoa Practices.


Production standards



Rainforest Alliance

UTZ Certified


Company standard