MCLEAN, VA. — Mars, Inc. this week said it has plans in place to make it the first global chocolate company to certify its entire cocoa supply as being produced in a sustainable manner, by 2020.

"As a leader in the pursuit of a sustainable global cocoa industry, Mars, Inc. in line with its five principles, is working toward developing and advancing sustainable cocoa farming systems for the millions of small holder farmers involved with cocoa production," said Paul S. Michaels, president and chief executive officer for Mars. "Our commitment to sustainability is serious and long term, and this announcement is a major step toward our global commitment to purchase only cocoa that is certified as being produced in a sustainable manner. We are determined to put our principles into action, restoring cocoa supply for the next generation."

Mars said its goal is to achieve Rainforest Alliance certification of 100,000 tonnes of cocoa annually for use in Mars products by 2020. As part of the effort, Mars said it intends to use Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa in its Galaxy Chocolate, which is sold in the United Kingdom and Ireland, beginning in 2010.