The first Fairtrade Maltesers will hit shelves next summer as Mars seeks to ensure the long-term security of its cocoa supply.

The confectionery giant, which gained Rainforest Alliance certification for Galaxy last year as part of its commitment to use only certified cocoa by 2020, announced this week that Maltesers is to carry the Fairtrade mark.

Mars president Fiona Dawson said there were commercial reasons for gaining certification as well as consumer concerns. “It is also about investing in the long-term supply and quality we look for in our ­cocoa,” she told The Grocer, adding that production would switch to Fairtrade cocoa in the spring.

Despite a Fairtrade premium of $200 a tonne for cocoa, Dawson claimed there would be no increase in the price of Maltesers.

Rival chocolate brands Cadbury Dairy Milk and Kit Kat gained Fairtrade certification in 2009.