Glee Gum is now Fair Trade certified — making it the first chewing gum to earn the coveted label.Glee Gum Fair Trade

Boxes of Glee Gum will feature the Fair Trade Certification Mark, which guarantees that the cane sugar sweetening all six flavors of classic Glee Gum meets the social, economic and environmental standards set by Fair Trade International.

“We’re thrilled to debut the first Fair Trade certified gum, and hope to see many other candy companies follow suit,” says Deborah Schimberg, founder and president of Verve, Inc., which produces Glee Gum. “This certification signifies an important and exciting step in our continued commitment to environmental and social justice.”

In addition to offering the first Fair Trade gum, Glee Gum is the only gum in North America still made with chicle — a tree sap harvested sustainably from Central American rainforests.

While other gums use synthetic materials to produce a chewy texture, the Verve product uses chicle as an eco-friendly way to help conserve the rainforest. The use of chicle as an ingredient in gum gives trees more value standing than chopped down for lumber.

Glee Gum is all-natural, GMO-free, and aspartame-free, and is sold nationwide at stores like Cost Plus World Market and Whole Foods.

Fair Trade International, a non-profit organization, oversees an alternative system of global trade in which farmers and workers are paid a fair and stable price for their produce, regardless of changes in the market. Sales of Fair Trade products continue to rise, with estimated increases of 12% in product sales and 21% in sugar sales from 2010 to 2011.

— M.K.