Cadbury’s Dairy Milk to go Fairtrade

Will Cadbury's soon become Fairtrade like these chocolate chunks?

Rumours reach EthicalSuperstore HQ that Cadbury’s is set to announce that it is go fairtrade on all of its Dairy Milk range of products. This is the highest profile brand yet to go fairtrade.

When Cadbury’s bought Green and Blacks, we decided to hold fire on delisting them for a change corporate ownership while we decided whether Cadbury’s would negatively impact on G&B or whether it would be a postive impact on the whole company. (Green and Blacks the acceptable face of Cadburys?) It now looks like the positive approach to sustainable trade has had an impact on the whole Cadbury group.

So is this good news? I think on balance it is. Awareness of fairtrade will leap again as more people become exposed to what it is about through a product they are already buying. It also removes the age old quibble – “the fairtrade version doesn’t taste like my brand”. Now your brand is fairtrade so it really is a no effort switch. The volume of fairtrade cocoa will soar with direct benefits accruing for the producers.

However, there are other factors to consider. Fairtrade is more than just about price. Many of the fairtrade pioneers like Traidcraft and Divine Chocolate advance huge sums to producers to enable them to meet the costs of production before the harvest is sold. Will Cadbury’s be doing this? Traidcraft and Divine make long term multi-year commitments to growers. Whenever I have visited fairtrade producers price is only part of the equation – for most producers the fact you will buy next year’s crop is as important. It can be likened to job security – knowing someone will be with you through the good times and the bad is crucial when you’re a grower in an unpredictable economy relying on unpredictable weather.

And will we be selling Dairy Milk in the Ethical Superstore? Well that depends on whether it meets our ethical criteria or not. Only once the full information is available will we know that. We took a decision not to sell Nestle Partners Blend coffee as there was no commitment within Nestle to change – it was a token gesture. Changing the whole of the Dairy Milk range is more than a token gesture or greenwash as some are already saying. Watch this space for more information.

Photo via Flickr: net efekt

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