The nation’s favourite chocolate bar is helping improve the lives of farmers in West Africa as production of the Fairtrade Dairy Milk launches at Cadbury’s Bournville factory today.
The move by the confectionary giant, which triples the volume of Fairtrade cocoa being bought from Ghana, means Dairy Milk will be the first mass market chocolate to gain certification from the Fairtrade Foundation.
Cadbury Britain and Ireland managing director Trevor Bond described the move as a “tipping point for Fairtrade” and said consumers were concerned about how their chocolate was sourced.
“We think it’s right for our customers and it’s right for the long term sustainability of our business,” he said.
“In the past some people have struggled to find Fairtrade products but in a couple of weeks from today in newsagents they will be able to find Fairtrade products.”
He added the chocolate bar, which will carry the Fairtrade logo on its wrapper, will still taste the same and there will be no increase in price.
Mr Bond indicated Cadbury was considering the move to Fairtrade for other products.
“We are looking at other products within the UK and other geographies. This is such a big step we need to obviously absorb this and make sure we keep up with delivering Cadbury Dairy Milk as a Fairtrade product,” he said.
Dairy Milk’s conversion to Fairtrade builds on Cadbury’s work in helping to maintain a sustainable future for a million cocoa farmers in Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean.
In January 2008, the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership (CCP) was established together with the United National Development Programme, local governments, farmers and communities.
Over ten years £45 million will be invested through the partnership, £30 million of which is allocated to Ghana to improve farmer incomes, develop communities and build partnerships.
Today’s launch will bring the amount of cocoa sold under Fairtrade terms in Ghana from approximately 5,000 to 15,000 tonnes.
Cadbury estimates that by 2018, through the Dairy Milk initiative and the CCP, it will have made a demonstrable difference to the lives of around half a million farmers in Cadbury’s cocoa markets. Fairtrade Foundation executive director Harriet Lamb said the move was a “milestone” for Fairtrade and for cocoa growers in Ghana. She said: “Dairy Milk will create a step change in awareness of Fairtrade here in the UK, whilst in Ghana, it could potentially transform the lives and opportunities for thousands of people in cocoa growing communities.
“From today, lovers of Dairy Milk will be able to make their purchase in the knowledge that they are supporting a brighter future for very small scale cocoa farmers and their families.”