Fairtrade puts cocoa in the spotlight

Ethical trade label is raising awareness of cocoa farmers living on 75p a day as part of a two-week campaign including ice cream giveaways and retail pledges.

Fairtrade chocolate
Fairtrade chooses a different product every year to front its annual campaign

Ethical trade label Fairtrade has kickstarted its annual ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ campaign with a spotlight on cocoa and a call to action to address poverty among cocoa farmers.

The campaign, which runs from today (25 February) until Sunday 10 March will be visible across the country in a range of food businesses and supermarkets.

Events include a limited ice cream giveaway in Ben & Jerry’s flagship ‘scoop shop’ in central London and in-store campaigns in Greggs and Starbucks.

Several businesses have made Fairtrade pledges to align with the campaign, including Waitrose, which has promised to make all the cocoa in its own brand confectionery 100 per cent Fairtrade by the end of the year.

Divine Chocolate, which is 100 per cent Fairtrade, is launching a new limited edition ‘smooth dark lemon and juniper bar’, and supermarket chain The Co-op is asking shoppers to make an active pledge to swap one product they purchase a week to Fairtrade when they shop.

Behind the awareness campaign is a message about the salaries of cocoa farmers in places such as Côte D’Ivoire, where some farmers live on the equivalent of 75p a day. The Living Income standard as calculated by Fairtrade is £1.86 to cover life’s essentials, the organisation said.

Fairtrade farmers receive a premium on top of a guaranteed minimum price, which is given directly to a workers’ co-operative to spend on what they need, such as housing, training or women’s trade initiatives.

“This Fairtrade Fortnight, as we shine a light on the cocoa farmers behind the chocolate that we love to indulge in – businesses and consumers are showing their support for the cause too – and we’re encouraging the public to get involved, by taking part in events, and gifting Fairtrade chocolates,” said Daniel Morey of the Fairtrade Foundation.

“There is so much choice across our high streets, and when shoppers buy Fairtrade they are helping farmers get a better deal,” he added.

Farmer and Fairtrade co-operative member Rosine Bekoin said: “Fairtrade premium encourages us, as women cocoa farmers, to be able to achieve certain things. We know that with Fairtrade there is a Premium waiting for us, and for each woman, you can do what is in your heart.”

The cocoa lowdown:

  • In the UK we eat 8.4kg of chocolate or 84 large bars each per person
  • The UK chocolate industry is worth £4billion to the economy
  • Green and Black’s Maya Gold was the first Fairtrade chocolate bar
  • The majority of the world’s crop is grown in West Africa, with Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana accounting for nearly 60 per cent of the global production.
  • Over 90 per cent of the world’s cocoa is grown on small farms by five to six million farmers.

[Source Fairtrade Foundation]


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