Choose Fairtrade to make a positive impact for cocoa growers

Fairtrade cocoa farmer in Ghana

As the UK embraces Chocolate Week this autumn, the Fairtrade Foundation highlights a range of positive impacts of Fairtrade for thousands of cocoa farmers in developing countries.

Twenty years after the first Fairtrade chocolate bar was launched in the UK, Fairtrade chocolate is becoming increasingly popular and now makes up 12% of all British chocolate sales - providing vital economic benefits to cocoa growers.

Last year, UK sales of Fairtrade chocolate reached £542 million, and as a result Fairtrade cocoa producer organisations earned £4 million in Fairtrade Premium, on top of the price they earned for their beans, to invest in business, social and environmental projects in their communities; this represented a 30% increase on the previous year.

Stephen Lord, Product Officer (Cocoa) at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “Fairtrade currently works with 167,000 cocoa farmers in countries including Cote D'Ivoire, Ghana and the Dominican Republic. Most are small-scale farmers who live on very low incomes, and Fairtrade enables them to trade their way out of poverty, by helping to ensure they have stable incomes and long-term contracts with companies.

“Studies of Fairtrade, in particular in West Africa, show that transparent and fair structures are having positive impacts for cocoa producer organisations, and their wider communities. Farmers earn the Fairtrade Premium, which they invest as the farmer-owned co-operative democratically chooses, in projects that will benefit their business or community.

“These economic benefits are essential for growers to plan for the future, and to make their farms sustainable. Importantly, Fairtrade standards empower farmers to build strong, democratic organisations, as well as giving them visibility in the global supply chain.”

From a cocoa bean to a chocolate bar  

Successfully combining the passion of a social mission and innovation, Divine Chocolate has gone down in history as the first and only UK mainstream chocolate company to be owned by a cooperative of cocoa farmers in Ghana, delivering more money on the ground for farmers, on top of the Fairtrade Premium.

Divine, one of the original sponsors of Chocolate Week, has lined up an exciting week of sampling, tastings and chocolate menus in restaurants, hotels, bars and cafes across the country. Divine has also teamed up with celebrity chefs, Rachel Khoo, Lorraine Pascale, Paul Frangie and Linda Collister, who will create four new Divine Delights. For more information, visit: www.divinechocolate.com/uk/good-stuff/events.   

“Fairtrade chocolate businesses have always been at the forefront of chocolate innovation, as well as paving the way for ethical and transparent business,” added Stephen Lord.

Sussex based chocolate artisans Cocoa Loco have recently opened the UK’s first 100% Fairtrade chocolate shop, from which they sell a wide range of their Organic and Fairtrade chocolates, including Milk and White Chocolate Robins, Dark Chilli Chocolates and Chocolate Eye Balls.

Cocoa Loco founder Sarah Payne, said: “It is very important to us that our chocolate is produced to the highest welfare and environmental standards by people who care passionately about what they do and who are paid fairly for their skills and efforts. We love the fact that by working with Fairtrade we are showing our support for farmers and producers around the world, and in doing so are making a positive contribution”.

Oxfordshire-based Plush Chocolates are also innovative. All Plush Chocolates are FAIRTRADE certified, and packed in biodegradable packaging. Their new products for autumn/ winter include Seasalt Fudge, Chocolate Orange Fudge, as well as Christmas Stars.

Making a real difference in West Africa

Earlier this year Fairtrade International published a report, “Fairtrade cocoa in West Africa”, which shows positive effects of Fairtrade for cocoa farmers in the region.

The report reveals Fairtrade certified cocoa farmer organisations recognise the importance of investing the Fairtrade Premium into improving their businesses. Producer organisations in West Arica, on average, chose to spend 36% of their Fairtrade Premium on projects to increase their productivity and the quality of their cocoa – far above Fairtrade International’s suggested 25% minimum.

The Fairtrade Premium is also used by farmers for social projects, such as rebuilding schools, building wells for drinking water, and supporting diversification in order to increase income, for example through making soap and palm oil, and milling corn.

The Fairtrade movement is the only certification scheme to be 50% owned by producers, while the FAIRTRADE Mark independently certifies that products meet economic, social and environmental standards. As such, it is the most widely recognised ethical mark worldwide.

Find out more about the FAIRTRADE Mark and where to buy Fairtrade products, visit www.fairtrade.org.uk.

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 For more information and photos, please contact:

 

 

Anna Galandzij

Press Officer

020 7440 7692

anna.galandzij@fairtrade.org.uk

 

Notes to Editors

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 1.4 million people – farmers and workers – across more than 70 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.

Over 4,500 products have been licensed to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark including coffee, tea, herbal teas, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, bananas, grapes, pineapples, mangoes, avocados, apples, pears, plums, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, satsumas, clementines, mandarins, lychees, coconuts, dried fruit, juices, smoothies, biscuits, cakes & snacks, honey, jams & preserves, chutney & sauces, rice, quinoa, herbs &  spices, seeds, nuts & nut oil, wines, beers, rum, confectionary, muesli, cereal bars, yoghurt, ice-cream, flowers, sports balls, sugar body scrub and cotton products including clothing, homeware, cloth toys, cotton wool, olive oil, gold, silver and platinum.

77% of people in the UK say they recognise the FAIRTRADE Mark (source: TNS 2013).  It is the world’s most recognized ethical label, according to Globescan research conducted for the Fairtrade Foundation in 2011. Estimated retail sales of Fairtrade products in 2013 reached £1.70 billion.