For Immediate Release
March 6, 2009
Contact: Tim Newman, tim.newman[at]ilrf.org, 202-347-4100
Adrienne Fitch-Frankel, Adrienne[at]globalexchange.org, 415-255-7296
US ADVOCATES CONGRATULATE CADBURY ON FAIR TRADE CHOCOLATE ANNOUNCEMENT
Major US chocolate companies encouraged to follow Cadbury’s lead
Global Exchange and the International Labor Rights Forum, two organizations leading campaign efforts in the US to improve living and working standards for cocoa farmers around the world, welcome Cadbury’s plans to achieve Fair Trade certification for Cadbury Dairy Milk by the end of summer 2009. Cadbury Dairy Milk is an iconic candy in the UK, like the Hershey’s bar or Mars’ M&Ms in the US. Cadbury’s announcement made on March 4, 2009 means that the top selling chocolate bar in England will be Fair Trade certified and the deal will triple cocoa sales for Fair Trade certified farmer cooperatives in Ghana.
For years, Global Exchange and the International Labor Rights Forum have been calling on major chocolate companies to purchase Fair Trade certified cocoa. Child and trafficked labor have been widespread on cocoa farms in West Africa and Fair Trade certification bans the worst forms of child labor and forced labor. Additionally, Fair Trade helps farmers to improve their incomes, invest in community projects like clinics and schools and promotes democratic organization of farmers.
Bama Athreya, Executive Director of the International Labor Rights Forum said, “We congratulate Cadbury on this important announcement. We hope that Cadbury’s increasing commitment to Fair Trade will contribute to better living and working conditions for cocoa farmers throughout West Africa. Most importantly, Cadbury can serve as a model to major US-based chocolate companies. Their leadership demonstrates that committing to Fair Trade certified cocoa for the mass market is indeed possible.”
Adrienne Fitch-Frankel, Fair Trade Campaign Director at Global Exchange said, “Cadbury’s Fair Trade announcement is an important victory for cocoa farmers, chocolate lovers, and grassroots Fair Trade advocates in the UK and around the world. We hope that Cadbury will extend its commitment to Fair Trade to all of its cocoa products sold in the UK and worldwide. After the remarkable leadership of 100% Fair Trade certified chocolate companies like Equal Exchange, Divine, and Alter Eco, Cadbury has proven that embracing Fair Trade is also both feasible and profitable for the major international chocolate brands. Cadbury’s is the first domino in the domino effect of major chocolate companies going Fair Trade. The tens of thousands of grassroots Fair Trade activists we work with, from young children to grandparents, are eagerly awaiting the day that we will savor our first Fair Trade certified Hershey’s bar, package of M&Ms, or World’s Finest Chocolate bar.”
As fair trade and labor advocates around the world celebrate Cadbury’s news, both organizations continue to call on major US chocolate companies like Nestlé, Mars, Hershey’s, and World’s Finest Chocolate to follow Cadbury’s lead and make a stronger commitment to ending labor rights abuses in their cocoa supply chains and making it possible for cocoa farmers to build a brighter future for their families through Fair Trade.
Global Exchange is an international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice around the world. For more information, please visit www.GlobalExchange.org.
International Labor Rights Forum is an advocacy organization dedicated to achieving just and humane treatment for workers worldwide. For more information, please visit www.LaborRights.org.
Both organizations are authors and signatories to the Commitment to Ethical Cocoa Sourcing, signed by over 60 chocolate companies, nonprofit organizations, and faith-based groups.