Nestlé's Kit Kat announcement - your comments
On 7 December, Nestle announced that Kit Kat is going Fairtrade as a breakthrough for cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), as well as for Kit Kat lovers in the UK and Ireland. The move which will kick off in mid-January 2010, will benefit thousands of farmers in Côte d’Ivoire who as well as a Fairtrade price (or market price if higher), will receive additional Faitrade premium payments to invest in long term community and business development projects of their own choice. Here is your chance to comment on the announcement and view some early reactions.
Rt Hon Gareth Thomas MP, the UK government’s Trade and Development Minister -
"I am glad to see Kit Kat become Fairtrade certified, giving more British shoppers the chance to improve the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. This will give thousands of Ivorian cocoa farmers better opportunities to trade their way out of poverty."
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell MP -
“This is real and important progress. There are many competing brands of Fairtrade chocolate available to British consumers and they all help bring progress and stability to the lives of poor farmers in the developing world. The Fairtrade movement has been going from strength to strength and today’s announcement marks further progress.”
Mark Dawson, York Fair Trade Forum Group -
"We welcome Nestle's decision to make one of their biggest brands a Fairtrade product. We are delighted for the producers - the cocoa and sugar farmers in developing countries who will now be paid a decent price for their crop.
"We see this as a starting point, and we urge Nestle to move to using Fairtrade cocoa and sugar in all their chocolate products. This could never have happened without the pioneering work of dedicated Fairtrade companies such as Traidcraft, Cafedirect and The Divine Chocolate Company. These companies have made, and continue to make, a real difference in world trade, resulting in real improvements in the lives of millions in producer countries."
Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu -
“I can remember 2 years ago, during a William Wilberforce lecture in Hull, posing the question, ‘Is it time that Nestle should make their chocolate Fairtrade’, and many people in York supported that call for trade justice. The managers of Nestle in York have worked very hard to meet that challenge.
“Nestle have invested considerable time, effort and money to make this Fairtrade biscuit a reality and this is fantastic news.
“I have visited the workers at the co-operative in the Ivory Coast who will benefit from Kit Kat four-finger bar becoming Fairtrade, and I know that this is a real step forward in giving them trade justice, recognition and financial reward they deserve. Nestle is to be congratulated for the £3 million Agricultural Research plant in the Ivory Coast which will produce high yield cocoa, coffee, and cassava trees as well as seeds for sorghum and millet. How exciting!
“This is breath-taking for all concerned. Fairtrade Yorkie – here we come!”
Rob Cameron, Fairtrade Labelling Organisations -
“This announcement brings the possibility of real change to tens of thousands of cocoa farmers and their communities in Ivory Coast – one of the world’s poorest countries. The Fairtrade certification of Kit Kat in the UK and Ireland gives these farmers the opportunity to sell more than 16 000 tonnes of cocoa on Fairtrade terms annually to supply the largest global chocolate brand in its largest global market. FLO applauds Nestlè UK for taking this significant step towards changing the nature of the cocoa industry as we know it today, bringing us one step closer to our vision of reducing poverty through sustainable development. We look forward to deepening our relationship with Nestle UK and working together towards this vision ”
Fulgence Nguessan, President of Kavokiva says the partnership will give income security to the farmers:
The long term commitment of Nestlé to purchase Fairtrade certified cocoa from Kavokiva is a unique opportunity for the cooperative and its members. Having its cocoa sold at a fair price directly to Nestlé is a source of motivation to all members and reinforces the cooperative's cohesion. It will allow the cooperative to continue to help its members to produce good quality cocoa and increase the yields they produce. The Fairtrade premium will be used to improve the life conditions of our members. We are committed to use a significant part of this premium to ensure that all children from our members can attend school and also to improve the services of the health centre of the cooperative.”
Paul Chandler, Chief Executive of Traidcraft:
"It's great to see popular brands like KitKat and Dairy Milk follow the lead of the fair trade pioneers. With Fairtrade cocoa, sugar and coffee now firmly in the mainstream, isn't it time for the big tea brands – Yorkshire Tea, Tetley’s, PG Tips and Typhoo – to do the same and help improve the lives of millions of small-scale tea farmers and workers?" Read more
The full Kit Kat press release
A case study on the Kavokiva Cocoa Co-Operative, Cote D'Ivoire
Explore our Fairtrade Chocolate section