Did you know that Nestle plans to stop making KitKat with Fairtrade cocoa and sugar? All details on www.fairtrade.org.uk.
This decision will mean a loss of almost £2 million in Fairtrade Premium each year for co-operatives in Cote d’lvoire, Fiji, and Malawi, representing 27,000 small scale producers. The Fairtrade premium (paid to co-operatives) as well as the guaranteed minimum price for their produce, provides a real lifeline for some of the world’s poorest farmers.
I know that, like me, many of you support the principles of Fairtrade and make a point of buying Fairtrade certified chocolate (and other products) whenever you can. And we do this because we know that the Fairtrade certification scheme guarantees those who produce the cocoa and sugar cane for our chocolate, receive a fair price for their produce, even when world markets collapse. This is vital, considering that a West African cocoa farmer earns on average 74p per day- less than half a living income and only a few pence more than the cost of a KitKat. The Fairtrade Premium, which the producer communities themselves, decide how to spend, has enabled communities during this pandemic to act quickly to protect themselves against the effects of COVID-19 with protective equipment, hand sanitisers, awareness raising and support for sick families.
The Nestle organisation turned in a profit of 13.7 billion Swiss francs in 2019. Yet its actions in withdrawing from its 10-year Fairtrade partnership with Ivory Coast farmers will result in fewer schools, water pumps, health centres and other vital services for their communities, and greater poverty and hardship, during a global pandemic.
It is not clear what will happen to the cocoa co-operatives after this change. There is no transparency or clarity about what Nestle might offer to replace the Fairtrade advantages. For this reason, the co-operatives in the Ivory Coast have written that they do not want to move away from the Fairtrade system.
In Malawi and Fiji, Nestle, will stop buying their cane sugar altogether, so not only will farmers lose their Fairtrade Premium, but also their market. The impact on farmers will be very severe.
If, like me, you feel that KitKat bars should remain Fairtrade, please add your voice by signing the online petition: http://chng.it/wj84wfGmHf
Coordinator of Fairtrade Falmouth Steering Group