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Just one week after Blommer announced an increased commitment to its sustainability program, the company is being recognized for ongoing efforts spanning five decades.

The Rainforest Alliance is honoring Blommer Chocolate Co. as the 2012 recipient of their coveted “Sustainable Standard-Setter” award.

“We’re proud to be recognized for the work Blommer and our partners have done over the last 50 years to pioneer and advocate for good, sustainable advances within the cocoa industry,” says Peter Blommer, president and coo of Blommer, the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America.

Last week, Blommer announced plans to invest $45 million in cocoa sustainability efforts by 2020. Through its Sustainable Origins programs, the company is pledging to reach an additional 50,000 cocoa farmers worldwide doubling its current farmer base to 100,000.

“Companies like Blommer Chocolate Co. continue to raise the bar, making bold commitments to sustainability and traceability,” says Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance. “Through working with the Rainforest Alliance, Blommer is helping to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farming communities while protecting natural resources for generations to come.”

Blommer, along with eight other organizations Bloomberg, Fazendas Reunidas Vale do Juliana SA, Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal, Global Environment Facility, Marks & Spencer plc, The Nabob Coffee Co., Posada Amazonas Lodge by Rainforest Expeditions, and Staples were this year’s “Sustainable Standard-Setter” award recipients.

“In the spirit of collaboration, we look to our partners, customers and other industry leaders to move this work forward with us,” Blommer explains. “No matter how determined, no one company can bring sustainability to the cocoa industry alone.”

The Rainforest Alliance will recognize Sustainable Standert-Setter recipients at its 25th annual gala dinner and awards ceremony this evening in New York City.

Blommer Chocolate Co. currently employs more than 650 employees in four manufacturing facilities in North America. The company also is involved with the World Cocoa Foundation and promotes sustainable farming practices through its privately managed programs in Cote d'Ivoire, Indonesia and Ecuador.

The Rainforest Alliance is an organization founded in 1986 working to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.