Nestlé, which already uses farmers’ Rainforest Alliance certified “at other Aero and Yorkie bars, said it would start the new partnership for KitKat starting in October.
The Fairtrade label guarantees that the farmers behind a product have a minimum price series as well as a financial bonus, and is seen on a wide range of products, including chocolate, coffee and bananas.
Michael Gidney, chief executive officer of the Fairtrade Foundation, said cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire have been “devastated” by the news. “It would never be good news, but when faced with this, when the country is looking for one of the worst health crises imaginable, it makes things particularly difficult,” he said.
“Nestle of the relationship with farmers in Côte d’Ivoire has been able to make a huge difference for village communities, helping them to receive electricity and water pumps. The decision is a blow. ”
Simon Billington, global technical lead for Nestling, Confectionery, said the company was aware that “the move will impact some farmers”, but said it was “working hard” to mitigate it.
The company said it would provide financial support to help farmers certify with the Rainforest Alliance, if they wanted to. Nestlé said its decision was not made to save money and that it would spend the same amount on its farmers’ cocoa over the next year. He said he would also invest in a series of initiatives to support farmers and communities.
Billington added: “The expansion of our partnership with the Rainforest Alliance underscores our commitment to sustainable cocoa supply throughout our global supply chain. The success of our partnership with Fairtrade is end as we harmonize our certification for sustainable sourcing internationally. ”
In 2017, sainsbury’s announced that it was moving away from Fairtrade labeling for its own brand of tea and would use its own system to guarantee a good price for farmers.
Other companies have also left the program and created their own alternatives.