Fair Trade chocolate – report 1

December 8th, 2011 in Change. Tags: , , , , ,

A couple of weeks ago, I outlined some facts about exploitation in the growing of cocoa for chocolate (see My pleasure, their misery?) and at the same time wrote to two prominent chocolate manufacturers expressing my concerns and asking them to make more concerted moves to only source cocoa from growers who were paid a fair wage and were not exploiting children.

I have had one answer back.


Cadbury is perhaps the most prominent chocolate brand in Australia and is in most supermarkets. The company has had one part of their range (plain milk chocolate in several different chocolate bars, marketed as Cadbury Dairy Milk) certified as Fair Trade, so I complimented them on this and urged them to have other products certified.

I received a friendly letter in return, as you’d expect, confirming the extent of their Fair Trade commitment and the benefits it brings to farmers. The letter then said quite explicitly:

Cadbury Australia believes that Fairtrade certification for Cadbury Dairy Milk is the right thing to do. It builds upon our existing commitment to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers ….

Darrell Lea

I have not yet received a reply from Darrell Lea.


Cadbury’s response is a pointer to what we can all do to assist poor cocoa farmers:

  • We can all choose to buy more Cadbury Dairy Milk (if it is Fair Trade where you live) and less other varieties, to send a signal of approval. I am now doing this.
  • It would be good if more people could write to Cadbury urging them to obtain Fair Trade certification for other parts of their range.
  • Writing to other manufacturers would also be helful.

More on this when I hear from Darrell Lea.


  1. Nice initiative. Are there many chocolate brands by other manufacturers in Australia?

  2. Cadbury and Nestle (I guess you’d call them multi-national companies) are probably the two biggest, but there are several local brands and several other European brands (e.g. Lindt) that are seen in supermarkets and thus fairly well-recognised.

    Yes, I might write to some more.

  3. , increasing Fairtrade cocoa sales for xiseting certified farming groups and opening up new opportunities for others.””The move, which also includes Cadbury’s hot chocolate beverage, marks the first anniversary of the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership (CCP), an initiative in which the company is investing GBP45m (US$63.3m)c2a0over the next ten years to secure the sustainable socio-economic future of cocoa farming in Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean.”Cadbury has a youtube page on their blog, and I put together if you want to watch all eleven parts at once.c2a0 And, there is lots of info out there via , too. Update: I watched the videos.c2a0 Looks like they have been working with various farmers for a couple of years.c2a0 And, the sugar in their chocolate will also be fair trade, sourced from Africa.c2a0 Cadbury also said they will absorb the price increase, a smart move.c2a0 It seems like a genuine effort from here.c2a0 Good news!

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