nding its KitKat relationship with Fairtrade, Nestle has said it will provide financial support to farmers so they can certify their farms to meet the new standards.
After sourcing KitKat’s cocoa and sugar for 10-years through Fairtade, Nestle, will switch to Rainforest Alliance-certified farmers from October.
Simon Billington, Global Technical Manager for Nestle Confectionery said, “We are aware that the move will have an impact on some farmers, and we are working hard to mitigate this.
“We want to continue working with our Fairtrade farmers and we will pay for them to get to the level required by the UTZ standard, which since 2018 has been part of the Rainforest Alliance certification programme. If farmers are not able to do this in time for the next crop, we will also provide them with financial support for the coming year.”
Fairtrade has said the move will mean a loss of almost £2 million (£1.95 million) in Fairtrade Premium each year for co-operatives in Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji and Malawi, representing 27,000 small scale producers. It says it has the highest fixed Premium of any independent certification scheme in cocoa, currently $240 per tonne.
“A non-Fairtrade trade relationship means regression and continued poverty.”
Because producers choose how to spend the Fairtrade Premium, they have been able to respond quickly during the Covid-19 crisis to protect their health, support their communities and compensate for disruption to income.
Fairtrade said Nestle will now buy sugar from European sugar beet producers, meaning Fairtrade cane sugar farmers will lose the Fairtrade Premium, as well as access to the market.
Writing on behalf of Ivorian cocoa farmers, Atse Ossey Francis, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ivorian Fair Trade Network, said, “A non-Fairtrade relationship means regression and continued poverty.
“Fairtrade is 50% owned by producers, giving us power to make our own decisions for our organisations, families and communities… Stopping the relationship with Fairtrade is to silence our voices.”
Research from Fairtrade International showed the overall financial value to Ivorian Fairtrade cocoa co-operatives and their farmer members increased by almost 35 percent in 2019.