The certification of Cadbury’s popular chocolate bar has quadrupled the volume of Fairtrade cocoa exported from Ghana.
Fairtrade might have started off in something of an ethical niche, but recent years have seen it become increasingly mainstream. Nothing epitomised this shift more than when the UK’s most well-known chocolate brand decided to get itself certified.
In 2009, when Cadbury Dairy Milk started boasting the green and blue swirls, it was hailed as a major turning point for the Fairtrade mark. Since then, some 650 million bars and bags of Fairtrade-certified Cadbury Dairy Milk have been sold in the UK and Ireland, and the chocolate manufacturer has been responsible for quadrupling the volume of Fairtrade cocoa exported from Ghana.
For assistant brand manager Hortense Rothenburger, this is a logical extension of a long history of supporting Ghanaian cocoa farmers [see 'Making the chocolate last'], and represents “a further commitment to their sustainable livelihoods”. The dramatic increase in cocoa exports has generated a cool £3.6 million for the farmers. The country’s Kuapa Kokoo cooperative [see 'Helping poor communities help themselves'], which handles the sales, has been channelling the money to help members develop their communities, through improved infrastructure, skills training and community services such as health clinics, water and sanitation.
In 2011, Cadbury Dairy Milk donated 20% of all profits sold during Fairtrade Fortnight to install solar panels and lanterns in Ghanaian schools, mills, health clinics, and homes.
A “managed and phased roll out of Fairtrade” means that the certified chocolate has now been launched in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, and in the UK it is spreading to other Cadbury products such as hot drinks and chocolate buttons. Last year, sales of the familiar purple bars reached a record 16% market share, and well over two thirds of customers surveyed claimed that the Fairtrade stamp was important or extremely important in their purchasing decision. – Sarah Lewis-Hammond