A pandemic is passing throughout the chocolate consumer world, but don’t worry, it’s a green bug. Companies that currently aren’t known to care about sustainability are rolling out sweet treats that use good practices. One of the biggest is launching a new premium dark chocolate set to infect many a sweet tooth across the U.S., U.K., Germany, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, the Netherlands and Canada. fair trade chocolateKraft Foods is the surprising breakout corporation, launching a premium dark chocolate line containing cocoa from sustainable farms. The product, Cote d’Or, meets the Rainforest Alliance Certified standards for sustainable cocoa farming, according to a recent article by TriplePundit.com, “Chocolate Goes Green.” Skeptics of a major corporation’s true commitment should look at the numbers. Just how much sustainable cocoa is Kraft actively purchasing? Thirty thousand tons in all. “Kraft has been working with the Rainforest Alliance since 2005,” the article said. “The company, committed to using beans derived from certified farms, has agreed to purchase 30,000 tons of the Rainforest Alliance Certified sustainable cocoa beans by the end of 2012. Now, that’s a lot of chocolate!” Another company putting its money where our sweet-toothed, sustainability-minded mouths are concerned is Cadbury. Cadbury is investing £45 million over the next 10 years to secure the sustainable socioeconomic future of cocoa farming. The move is part of the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership to help combat the increasing challenges facing cocoa farming in Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean. With a worldwide focus, Cadbury has also set its sights on providing Dairy Milk brand chocolate bars in Canada, Australia and New Zealand in 2010. Here in the U.S., the U.K. brand that is making a significant amount of headway is Divine Chocolate USA. Opening in Washington, DC in 2006, consumers have been treated to fair trade chocolate for almost four years. Fun fact: The farmers of Kuapa Kokoo own one-third of Divine Chocolate in the U.S. While the chocolate in a candy bar is all that comes to mind when craving one, eco-friendly packaging is a hot topic in the chocolate world as well. In Australia, Marks & Spencer has been using a plastic tray with unique recyclable properties to carry its Swiss chocolates. With an aim on reducing the amount of chocolate tins in landfills, the tray boasts biodegradability after use, home compostability and compostability to European standards, and is made from renewable and sustainable resources (non-GM corn starch) that are nontoxic to the environment. Marks & Spencer’s adoption of the Plantic Technologies tray evolved from the company’s aim to reduce waste being sent to landfills, according to Packaging magazine’s article “Eco-friendly chocolate packaging.” Moving in phases, and encouraging consumers to take strides toward recycling in doable steps, Marks & Spencer are setting a goal of using sustainable plastic packaging within the next few years. “By 2012, (we want to) see the company become carbon neutral,” a Marks & Spencer statement said. “And send no waste to landfills from its own operations, extend sustainable sourcing, set new standards in ethical trading, and help customers and employees live a healthier lifestyle.” With the innovations in both the content and packaging, chocolate is quickly joining the list of things that are eco-friendly. Now that’s sweet.