Foodbuy recently sat down with one of our supplier partners AWAKE, a leader in Fairtrade premium caffeinated chocolate, to discuss their journey towards Fairtrade certification and the profound impact it has had on global sourcing practices. Sara Ameen, Business Development Manager at AWAKE shared insights into the company’s ethical commitment and dedication to shaping a sustainable and equitable future.Awake Owl_Nigel

Foodbuy: Can you shed light on the core principles of Fairtrade and why it stands as a dynamic system for positive change globally?

AWAKE: Fairtrade is essentially a dynamic system designed to bring about positive change for farmer and worker communities worldwide. What makes it stand out is its commitment to fairness and collaboration between producers and certifying bodies. This setup ensures that farmers and workers have a say in setting and upholding policies, leading to significant impacts on their local communities and the environment.

Foodbuy: What broader impact does choosing Fairtrade products have beyond just consumerism?

AWAKE: Choosing Fairtrade products is a deliberate decision to stand behind farmers, workers, and the communities connected to the ingredients found in our everyday goods. It promotes fair prices, enhanced working conditions, and equitable trade terms, sparking a cycle of empowerment that reverberates through every step of the production journey.

Foodbuy: Could you elaborate on how your commitment to Fairtrade goes beyond mere symbolism?

AWAKE: For AWAKE, our Fairtrade certification reflects our dedication to envisioning a world where farmers and workers have equitable influence. As a significant contributor in the chocolate industry, AWAKE prioritizes ethical operations. Our collaboration with Fairtrade shows our commitment to promoting ethical standards within the communities where our ingredients originate, in line with our overarching goal of making a positive difference.

Foodbuy: Can you elaborate on the process to become Fairtrade certified and its significance for AWAKE?

AWAKE: Achieving Fairtrade certification is definitely a long process. It begins with an extensive examination by Fairtrade, including an internal verification process. A third-party entity, Flocert, conducts an audit across all facets of our supply chain to ensure strict adherence to Fairtrade’s comprehensive requirements. Upon successful evaluation, we are granted a Permission to Trade (PTT), allowing AWAKE to integrate Fairtrade claims on packaging and brand communication— showing we have a visible commitment to ethical practices.

By being Fairtrade certified, AWAKE not only enhances its brand but also pioneers ethical standards within the chocolate industry. The journey to becoming Fairtrade certified highlights our commitment to fairness, equality, and ethical sourcing.

Foodbuy: Can you share the relationship between Foodbuy and AWAKE?

AWAKE: The partnership between Foodbuy and AWAKE represents a relationship that extends across various sectors. AWAKE is one of the top 20 Confectionery SKUs within the realms of Education, Healthcare, and Micro-Markets, throughout North America.

As a key player in the confectionery landscape, AWAKE has found a valuable partnership with Foodbuy. We believe that this partnership not only strengthens AWAKE’s reach but also reflects Foodbuy’s dedication to developing a more diverse and high-quality product portfolio for its members.

Foodbuy: Is it accessible through Sysco or GFS?

AWAKE: We are currently actively pursuing listings with Sysco and GFS.

Foodbuy:Is it suitable for the foodservice industry, or is it geared more towards those with vending machines or cafeteria-style service platforms?

AWAKE: We believe we are versatile in various applications. They might serve as a convenient grab-and-go snack, a dessert option, or a unique addition to specialty beverage offerings. Establishments could consider incorporating AWAKE into cafes or coffee shops, including them in catering packages for events and meetings, or featuring them in stadiums or banquet halls.

Foodbuy takes pride in working with AWAKE because they represent the type of supplier that goes beyond to deliver quality products. This partnership signifies our joint commitment to not only providing outstanding products but also reinforces our efforts in making a positive impact on the world through conscientious and ethical business practices. With suppliers like AWAKE, Foodbuy is actively influencing a procurement environment that prioritizes quality, responsibility, and positive change.

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