Bestselling Waitrose chocolate becomes Fairtrade

Fairtrade cocoa farmer

Cocoa and sugar farmers in developing countries will benefit

Waitrose has extended its roll-out of Fairtrade certification to its own-brand chocolate lines, the latest development in its sustainable supply chain.

The retailer’s two bestselling own-label block chocolate ranges, Seriously and Belgian, now carry the FAIRTRADE Mark to reflect the fact that the cocoa and sugar, among other ingredients, have been sourced on Fairtrade terms. Sales of the two newly certified ranges are currently up by a third.

When they sell their cocoa on Fairtrade terms, cocoa farmers receive a minimum price for their produce, intended to cover the cost of sustainable production in their region.

Both cocoa and sugar farmers also benefit from the Fairtrade Premium, worth $200 per ton of cocoa sold and $60 per tonne of sugar sold, which can be used on what is most important to them, whether this is education for their children, improving their business or investing in local community projects.

Euan Venters, Commercial Director at Fairtrade Foundation, said: “This is fantastic news for small-scale cocoa farmers in the Dominican Republic and West Africa, and small-scale sugar cane farmers in developing countries, who will now be able to sell more of their produce on Fairtrade terms. Through Fairtrade, these farmers are being supported to earn more stable prices plus a little extra that they can invest in their farms and their communities, so Waitrose shoppers can now reach for their favourite Belgian or Seriously chocolate bar knowing that they are not just enjoying a sweet treat, they are helping to change lives."

Waitrose’s Responsible Sourcing Coordinator, Amali Bunter, added: “We want our customers to be confident that Waitrose invests in and supports the people, communities and businesses involved in the production of our products.”

The certification follows the retailer’s move to make all own-label speciality baking sugars Fairtrade certified in November last year. It’s anticipated this switch to certified sugar will generate in the region of $115,000 in Fairtrade Premium in the first year alone with small-scale farmers in Mauritius being the main beneficiaries.

Earlier this year, Waitrose announced a first of its kind partnership with the Fairtrade Foundation, whereby Fairtrade and Waitrose work collaboratively to share best practice, experiences and a joint ambition to build upon their sustainable supply chain models. The partnership also means that the work of the Waitrose Foundation is recognised by the Fairtrade Foundation, the first time the organisation verified a third-party scheme.

Waitrose were the first supermarket, in 2007, to sell Fairtrade bananas exclusively. Since then, they have progressively converted their tea, coffee, wine, sugar and chocolate to the certification.

ENDS

For more information about Fairtrade Foundation, please contact Nicola Frame, Media & PR Manager on nicola.frame@fairtrade.org.uk

For more information about Waitrose, please contact Josh Mortlock, Press Assistant on josh.mortlock@waitrose.co.uk or Rob Cadwell, Senior Press Officer on rob.cadwell@waitrose.co.uk

Notes to editors:

About Waitrose
Waitrose are proud supporters of Fairtrade and were the first supermarket, in 2007, to sell Fairtrade bananas exclusively. Since then, they have progressively converted their tea, coffee, wine, chocolate and sugar to the certification. See here for more information about Fairtrade at Waitrose. Waitrose - the Nation's Favourite Supermarket¹ and winner of the BestSupermarket² and Best Food and Grocery Retailer³ awards - currently has 338 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61convenience branches, and another 28 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. Waitrose also exports its products to 50 countries worldwide and has seven shops in the Middle East. (www.waitrose.com).

¹ Conlumino Awards, 2014 ² Good Housekeeping Best Supermarket 2014, Which? Best Supermarket 2014 ³ Verdict Best Food and Grocery Retailer 2014

The lines that now carry Fairtrade certification are:

Waitrose Belgian chocolate white, 200g
Waitrose Belgian chocolate dark, 200g
Waitrose Belgian chocolate dark hazelnuts, 200g
Waitrose Belgian chocolate dark raisins & almonds, 200g
Waitrose Belgian chocolate milk hazelnuts, 200g
Waitrose Belgian chocolate milk raisins & almonds, 200g
Waitrose Belgian chocolate milk, 200g
Waitrose Seriously 8 chocolate bars, 240g
Waitrose Seriously milk chocolate 39%, 85g
Waitrose Seriously hazelnut truffle milk chocolate, 85g
Waitrose Seriously pistachio milk chocolate, 85g
Waitrose Seriously white chocolate, 85g
Waitrose Seriously milk chocolate 49%, 85g
Waitrose Seriously dark chocolate, 85g      

About the Fairtrade Foundation

The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent certification body which licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products which meet international Fairtrade standards. This independent consumer label appears on products to show that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal from trade. Today, more than 1.5 million people – farmers and workers – across more than 74 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.

Over 5,000 products have been licensed to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark in the UK including coffee, tea, herbal teas, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, bananas, grapes, pineapples, mangoes, avocados, apples, pears, plums, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, satsumas, clementines, mandarins, lychees, dried fruit, juices, smoothies, biscuits, cakes & snacks, honey, jams & preserves, chutney, rice, quinoa, herbs & spices, seeds, nuts, wines, ales, rum, confectionery, muesli, cereal bars, ice-cream, flowers, sports balls, sugar body scrub and cotton products including clothing, homeware, cotton wool, olive oil, gold, silver and platinum. Awareness of the FAIRTRADE Mark continues to be high in 2014, at a level of 78%.