The Stick... and Now the Carrot
In a landmark announcement Cadbury Chocolate, one of the major chocolate manufactures primarily operating in the U.K. stated that they would certify that their dairy-milk chocolate is Fair Trade by the end of summer 2009. In a statement issued Today, Chief Executive for Cadbury, Todd Stitzer said:
"This is an historic moment for our company. I am proud that the nation’s favourite chocolate bar will display the FAIRTRADE Mark. I was in Ghana last month and saw how vital it is that businesses support their partners and the communities they live in. We believe that by joining forces with the Fairtrade Foundation, we can further improve living standards and conditions for farmers and farming communities, and create a sustainable supply of high quality cocoa for Cadbury."
Through this single decision Cadbury has increased the amount of Certified Fair Trade Chocolate sold by three fold. While Cadbury's decision does not change the need to certify all chocolate produced "Free to Work", it is a step in the right direction.
The movement to ensure all chocolate is produced using free labor began by a small, but persistent, population of people demanding change (the stick) and Cadbury chocolate has responded. Increased responsibility has now turned back to Consumers Advocates. With an increased portion of revenue, we as consumers MUST prove to Cadbury, and the other major chocolate companies, that this behavior will be rewarded with increased profits (the Carrot).
Cadbury's decision will not solve the problem within the chocolate industry, nor do they get a free pass on the rest of their chocolate, but it is a huge step in the right direction.
As consumers we must prove that Fair Trade Certification has a competative advantage over non-Fair Trade Chocolate.
Learn what you can do as a consumer at www.Free2work.org