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Green & Blacks announce a move to 100% Fairtrade 08.02.10

As we hear that Cadbury is to be snapped up by Kraft Green & Blacks, a Cadbury company, has announced it will switch its entire range of chocolate bar and beverage products to 100% organic and Fairtrade in 30 countries by the end of 2011. The move will open up many new opportunities for Fairtrade farmers in developing countries says the Fairtrade Foundation

Harriet Lamb, Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation says: ‘Green & Black’s launched the first product to carry the Fairtrade Mark in 1994, the Maya Gold chocolate bar. We are delighted by this new chapter in our relationship as it demonstrates the company’s ongoing commitment and means that even more cocoa farmers from the Dominican Republic and other developing countries will be able to participate in Fairtrade. In addition to cocoa, Green & Black’s will source other organic Fairtrade certified ingredients such as sugar, vanilla and coffee for its ranges, opening up new markets for Fairtrade farmers around the world.’

As well as its existing Maya Gold suppliers, the move will see an increased focus by Green & Black’s on building Fairtrade programmes with co-operatives in the Dominican Republic, resulting in Fairtrade premiums of approximately £300,000 a year.

One of the first producer groups to benefit will be the Dominican Republic-based Fairtrade certified cocoa co-operative CONACADO (the National Confederation of Dominican Cocoa Producers).Cocoa farmer Santos Mendoza, CONACADO’s president, said: ‘This is exciting news for us because through the pricing structure and the Fairtrade premium we will be able to both invest in business and in our community to ensure a brighter future for our families, other farmers and our friends. The best thing about this partnership and working with Fairtrade is that it enables cocoa farmers and organisations like us to have a say in shaping our future by directly talking and working with companies to ensure sustainable livelihoods.’

Green & Black’s will also continue to source from existing Fairtrade certified producer group the Toledo Cacao Growers’ Association (TGCA) from the Toledo region of southern Belize whose cocoa beans have been used in Maya Gold chocolate bars for the last 15 years.

Justino Peck ,Chairman of the Toledo Cacao Growers’ Association, welcomes news that more Fairtrade farmers will benefit. ‘This partnership will enable more and more farmers to reap the benefits of working with Green & Black’s and Fairtrade. Over the last 15 years the TCGA has used the Fairtrade premiums for investment in secondary education and in building capacity for our business, allowing us to increase our membership from 200 to 1,000 farmers.’

I don’t think we will be holding our breath for when Kraft announce its entire range of plastic food will be moving the same way.

Peter Shield

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