Image from Nestle
Kit Kat is the best selling chocolate bar in the UK, with 1 billion sold annually. So when Nestle decides to make it Fairtrade, it is a big deal, and sweet news. Starting in January all of the four-finger bars will be made with Fairtrade cocoa, with the smaller ones following later.
In fact, the UK is the biggest market for Kit Kat in the world, with Japan next, at half as many. With Cadbury's Dairy Milk certified earlier this year, Fairtrade chocolate is reaching the mainstream--with great benefits for farmers in the Ivory Coast which is the world's largest cocoa producing country.
Fairtrade campaigners are delighted because more than 6,000 farmers in west Africa are going to get a better price for their cocoa. As the head of the Fairtrade Foundation said: "Cocoa farmers in Côte d'Ivoire struggle under the relentless pressures of poverty with shockingly high levels of illiteracy and poor access to healthcare. The significant volumes of cocoa that go into making Kit Kat will open whole new possibilities for these farmers in Côte d'Ivoire, giving them a more sustainable livelihood and the chance to plan for a better future."
The sugar in the chocolate bars will also be Fairtrade, from Belize. In addition, Nestle's has launched a global Cocoa Plan. They are investing £65M over the next ten years to address economic, social and environmental issues facing cocoa farmers in the Ivory coast.
Fairtrade status means that the farmers in developing countries receive a Fairtrade price, or market price, if it is higher, for their produce. They also get a premium of more than £100 a ton, which is used to invest in long-term business or social development projects such as education and healthcare.
Last year more than £700m was spent on Fairtrade goods in the UK, an increase of more than £200m on 2007.