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Eat Sustainable Easter Eggs, Save the Rainforest

Divine Chocolate and Booja Booja make the most rainforest-friendly Easter eggs, according to a survey of chocolate brands based on their use of palm oil, while Lindt, Thorntons and Guylian rank at the bottom of the list.

Ethical Consumer magazine and Rainforest Foundation UK ranked more than 70 UK chocolate brands as part of a new campaign to force companies to use more sustainably sourced palm oil. The groups ranked the Easter egg companies’ practices and policies in relation to their palm oil sourcing, using public information and a questionnaire.

Receiving 20 out of 20 points, Divine and Booja Booja do not use any palm oil in their chocolate products, the survey says.

Lindt, which scored zero points, supplied inaccurate figures. Thorntons and Guylian, receiving zero and negative one points, respectively, failed to submit any documentation that set international sustainable palm oil standards, according to Ethical Consumer.

While Kraft’s Green & Blacks organic chocolate brand scored 10 points and received an amber traffic light in the ranking — not as good as a green traffic light, but better than red lights earned by 40 products on the list — the company’s eight other chocolate products including Cadbury Creme Eggs and Toblerone all earned three points and a red traffic light.

Mars’ 16 brands scored seven points and red traffic lights; Nestlé’s 11 chocolates on the list earned 10 points and yellow traffic lights.

According to a Rainforest UK report, Seeds of Destruction, 1 million acres of rainforest in the Congo Basin is currently being developed by palm oil producers, and with 284 million acres of suitable soil in the region, developers are actively seeking large sites now. Palm oil is a core ingredient in many food products and companies are not required by EU law to label products containing it until December 2014.

Rain Forest UK and Ethical Consumer say the product guide to chocolate is the first of a series that will rate all consumer products using palm oil. Future guides will include cookies, cereals and spreads.

In its most recent sustainability report, Nestlé announced a target of getting all its palm oil from sustainable sources by the end of this year, two years ahead of schedule.

Last month, Starbucks agreed to purchase 100 percent of its palm oil from certified sustainable suppliers by 2015.

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