Nestlé UK & Ireland will double its commitment to Fairtrade from January 2013 by gaining certification of its 2-finger Kit Kat.
By extending the Fairtrade certification across the Kit Kat range, an extra 800 million bars a year will now carry the mark, becoming the first mainstream brand in the biscuit aisle to gain Fairtrade certification.
KIit Kat, the chocolate biscuit bar went Fairtrade in January 2010 when the 4-Finger Kit Kat was certified.
Nestlé UK & Ireland will now purchase an additional 5,300 tonnes of sustainable cocoa from Fairtrade farmer co-operatives in the Ivory Coast.
The announcement was made possible by nine additional farmer co-operatives in the Ivory Coast supplying Fairtrade certified cocoa for Kit Kat.
As Fairtrade co-operatives, the 4,500 new farmers will not only receive a price that covers the costs of sustainable production but also receive an additional Fairtrade premium to invest in their community or business development projects of their choice, such as improving healthcare and schools.
The new co-operatives will also join the Nestlé Cocoa Plan which was launched in 2009.
Nestlé has pledged to invest £65 million over 10 years on plant science and sustainability initiatives to support small scale cocoa farmers around the World including the Ivory Coast, the world’s largest source of cocoa.
Ciaran Sullivan, Managing Director of Nestlé Confectionery UK & Ireland said:
“Today’s news is the next step on our journey toward a sustainable supply of quality cocoa and our commitment to certify all our Kit Kats in the UK & Ireland.
“From January 2013, over 1.2 billion Kit Kats will carry the mark on 2 and 4 Finger Kit Kat, supporting in total over 7,000 farmers.
“Farmers in the Nestlé Cocoa Plan receive benefits such as new plantlets, farmer training and new schools for their communities.
“Ivorian farmers badly need our support and this move will help even more cocoa farmers and their families build a positive long term future.”
Mike Gidney, Interim Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation, said:
“This is sweet news not only for the farmers and communities but also for consumers.
“We know how much Kit Kat 4-Finger going Fairtrade has been able to transform communities in the Ivory Coast – for example, The Fairtrade certified co-operative Kavokiva has already been able to develop a variety of community projects including health insurance for all members and their families with their Fairtrade premiums.
“We are very excited now that Kit Kat 2-Finger is going Fairtrade as we will be able to work in partnership with Nestlé to extend further benefits to cocoa farming communities in the Ivory Coast.”
Ivorian farmer Kouame Fasseri has appeared on the back of the Fairtrade 4-Finger Kit Kat since launch and is one of the 2,500 members of the Kavokiva co-operative that has provided the Fairtrade cocoa for the bar.
He said: “When you buy Fairtrade it is small farmers like me who benefit.
“The Premiums not only provide additional cash for all members but it pays for our health insurance, a decision we took together.
“Nestle has been a very good partner to us, and helped us through Fairtrade and invested in providing new cocoa trees for us, as many of our trees were old and are expensive to replace.”
The Nestlé Cocoa Plan is now active in the Ivory Coast, Ecuador, Indonesia, Ghana, and Venezuela with plans to extend in other Latin American countries in the future. The Plan helps farmers to run profitable farms while developing a sustainable supply chain for Nestlé cocoa. The Nestlé Cocoa Plan focuses on five key areas:
1. Better farming by training farmers in more sustainable farming practices;
2. Better schools by aiming to build 40 schools in the next 4 years, and by supporting community projects;
3. Better plants by providing 12 million highly productive cocoa plants to farmers, the yield (and therefore income) will be improved;
4. Better cocoa by improving the supply chain and paying a premium for quality cocoa;
Nestlé has pioneered techniques to produce higher quality seedlings and help farmers increase productivity.
In 2012 over 1 million high yielding and disease resistant cocoa plants will be distributed with the aim to distribute 12 million by 2020.
For further information about the Cocoa Plan click here to visit the website.