With help from the enviro group Rainforest Alliance, some farmers in Ecuador have pledged to grow cocoa without cutting down forestlands and earn the right to be labeled rainforest-friendly. Within a few weeks, the cocoa — the first to be so certified — will become available to U.S. manufacturers. Enviros say cocoa, like coffee, can be grown alongside or in the shade of rainforest trees, making it a much better product for biodiversity than other tropical crops like bananas or cattle, which require that land be deforested. However, even though there has been a surge of interest in organic and other forms of eco-friendly chocolate in recent years, most operations around the world don’t grow cocoa trees in environmentally conscious ways. One researcher estimates that two-thirds of the cocoa grown in the Ivory Coast, which produces about 40 percent of the world’s supply, is grown without shade.

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