Fairtrade Foundation Statement on Channel 4 Dispatches: Secrets of Cadbury

Cadbury chocolate

Response to Channel 4 Dispatches: Secrets of Cadbury, broadcast on Monday 21 March, referencing the business partnership between Cadbury/Mondelēz International and Fairtrade.

Fairtrade is committed to improving trading terms and working conditions, and reducing poverty for both farmers and workers employed in Fairtrade supply chains.

Fairtrade is very proud of its pioneering partnership work with Cadbury and subsequently Mondelēz International, which was launched in 2009 when Cadbury Dairy Milk became Fairtrade certified across the whole of the UK and Irish markets. The move resulted in tripling of sales of cocoa on Fairtrade terms for cocoa farmers in Ghana, both increasing Fairtrade cocoa sales for existing certified farming groups, as well as opening up new opportunities for thousands more farmers to benefit from the Fairtrade system.

Cadbury subsequently converted Cadbury Dairy Milk bars to Fairtrade in Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The partnership commitment with Cadbury/ Mondelēz International expanded to include all Cadbury hot chocolate drinking products, Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons and Giant Buttons and Cadbury Dairy Milk Bubbly. In order for these products to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark, they must meet rigorous international Fairtrade standards which include sourcing 100% of all eligible ingredients that can be Fairtrade, as Fairtrade. For Cadbury Dairy Milk products, this means both the cocoa and the sugar, and both are fully certified. To see which products are Fairtrade certified, look for the FAIRTRADE Mark on the front of the product.

Fairtrade has also been working with Mondelēz International’s Cocoa Life programme in Ghana (formerly the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership) to support more smallholder farmers to become organised into cooperatives and achieve Fairtrade certification.

Mondelēz International remains the biggest purchaser of Fairtrade Cocoa in the UK. Through the Fairtrade system, farmers supplying Cadbury/Mondelēz International have received an additional US$200 for every tonne of cocoa beans sold, which they have used to strengthen their farming, their organisations and to invest in their communities. 

For press enquiries, please contact the media team: media@fairtrade.org.uk  Tel: 020 7440 7695 mobile: 07886 301486.

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Notes to Editors - cocoa traceability in the chocolate industry

At the time of writing, the Fairtrade Foundation had not seen the proposed programme. We will update our statement following the broadcast.

The chocolate industry is currently not always able to keep Fairtrade cocoa and non-Fairtrade cocoa separate at every stage of production from the cocoa field to the final bar. Cocoa beans are delivered in bulk by farmers and routinely mixed during shipping and in the manufacturing process.

Rather than not engaging with the chocolate industry and losing Fairtrade sales opportunities for thousands of small farmers, Fairtrade has set up a system to ensure that chocolate manufacturers that want to use the FAIRTRADE Mark must buy the precise amount of cocoa they need from Fairtrade farmers that will be used in their final product.

So, if a chocolate bar uses 500 tonnes of cocoa, then they must purchase 500 tonnes of cocoa on Fairtrade terms, including the payment of an additional $200 Fairtrade Premium per tonne. This means that even if the beans are later mixed with non-Fairtrade beans – as often happens – Fairtrade cocoa farmers still get 100% of the benefits, and the better deal that the FAIRTRADE Mark stands for.

Research shows that this is what consumers care most about: that every Fairtrade chocolate bar they buy helps deliver a better deal to Fairtrade farmers and workers in the cocoa industry.

Fairtrade’s purpose is to support farmers and workers in the developing world to increase their share in global trade.  Fairtrade’s stringent inspection and audit system is in place to ensure the amount of Fairtrade chocolate manufactured exactly matches the amount of Fairtrade cocoa purchased.

We have worked hard on our rules for messaging on packaging in line with trading standards and EU Directives. We also work with chocolate manufacturers to increase their purchases on Fairtrade terms with this arrangement. That is making a huge difference to cocoa farmers in being able to tackle the problems and poverty they experience. But we need to go further. The more we demand Fairtrade chocolate, the more Fairtrade cocoa beans the companies will be encouraged to purchase, ensuring more benefits to farmers and more sales of Fairtrade cocoa.