Cadbury Bites into Ethics

06 Mar 2009

Britain’s biggest-selling chocolate company is switching to fairtrade sources for its chocolate.

Cadbury’s Dairy Milk has announced it will get its cocoa from Fairtrade farmers in Ghana. The company sells more than 300-million bars of chocolate a year in the UK and Ireland.

“This is groundbreaking news for thousands of small farmers in Ghana, enabling all those who buy it to make a real difference,” said the company’s chief executive, Todd Stitzer.

Cocoa is Ghana’s biggest cash crop and second largest export-earner. However the producers are now dealing with many difficulties, such as the deforestation of the rainforest that is cover for cocoa cultivation.

The first phase of the move by Cadbury will triple the country’s fairtrade cocoa production. It’s expected that 40,000 of the country’s 700,000 cocoa farmers will benefit.

The Fairtrade mark is a way to guarantee developing world farmers a larger share of the money that is made from products using their raw materials. The Cadbury project will create a “virtuous circle” by putting a floor on the price and offering a higher price for higher quality beans.

Harriet Lamb, the Chief Executive Officer of the Fairtrade Foundation, says farmers always say it is not possible to make enough money to live. “People don’t see cocoa as a future. They don’t get enough cash from cocoa so there’s not enough investment. With more income, farmers invest to improve quality and productivity. They they start to spread the benefits.”

It’s estimated that 7.5 million people, including farmers, workers and their families, benefit from products that are sold under the Fairtrade symbol.

Sandra Messick

The Independent

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