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 ….
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.