Ingrained In Our Company Ethos

7 November 2019   |   by Alli O'Connell, Marketing & Accounts Manager
Boy drying cocoa
Photographer: Luca RINALDINI

Alli O’Connell, Marketing & Accounts Manager at Fairtrade America, discusses ethical sourcing and authentic marketing with Navitas Organics. Navitas Organics is committed to creating a healthier world through regenerative organic farming and plant-focused lifestyles.

Navitas sources Fairtrade certified organic cacao from small shareholder farmers. In 2018 alone Navitas contributed nearly $150k in Fairtrade Premium, which supports community projects, infrastructure, and improvement of sustainable farming practices.

The Fairtrade Certification Process with Director of Sustainability & Quality Max Darcey

AO: What inspired Navitas Organics to pursue Fairtrade certification?

MD: Since our inception, Fairtrade practices have been ingrained in our company’s ethos – even though our knowledge of the certification was limited. We knew that by opening economic opportunities for indigenous products to be sold in the United States, Navitas Organics could help support smallholder farmers, while guaranteeing a fair and equitable wage. The partnerships we’ve developed with smallholder farms over the years have strengthened both local economies and communities in regions where we do business.

AO: Out of all the Navitas products why did you decide to certify the Cacao Powder, Keto Cacao Powder, Cacao Nibs and Cacao Butter?

MD: Knowing all the issues and concerns with the global chocolate trade, it made sense for us to join the fight with Cacao Powder, as it’s one of our best-selling products.


AO: Do you have any tips for someone else looking to lead the transition to an ethical certification within their company?

MD: Just start! Every step in the right direction gets us closer to ethical and sustainable sourcing, which contributes positive effects throughout the entire supply chain.

AO: What are some issues facing superfood brands that Navitas is addressing?

MD: The obscurity and scale of many superfoods make it more difficult to obtain Fairtrade certification. Some products we sell are not Fairtrade commodities, so they lack the infrastructure to fast track Fairtrade status. This makes the process very resource intensive, and for a lot of small companies like ours, difficult to pursue. This doesn’t mean we’re ignoring certification for these products, as we are replicating the values of Fairtrade practices throughout our supply chain, but it does prolong the process of Fairtrade certification.

AO: What would the world be like if all companies committed to ethical and sustainable sourcing?

MD: We would have more inclusive, fair and just supply chain systems that would benefit all involved – including the environment!

Feeling inspired? Learn how Navitas tells their Fairtrade story!


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Fairtrade America partners with brands on the journey to certification and beyond. We can help with everything from finding a certified supply chain to marketing your newly certified product.

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