Cadbury is to become the biggest confectionery brand with the Fairtrade certification mark.
The company and the Fairtrade Foundation aim to achieve certification for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, the UK’s top-selling chocolate bar, by the end of the summer.
The group will certify 300 million of its Dairy Milk bars, plus its related hot chocolate beverage, at a cost of £1.5million ($2.1m). This will triple Fairtrade cocoa sales for farmers in Ghana, benefiting already certified farming groups and creating new ones. Cadbury will pay £108 ($150) more per tonne for Fairtrade cocoa to ensure a minimum price for farmers, but says it will not pass the cost on to consumers.
Harriet Lamb, Fairtrade Foundation chief executive, said the deal would ‘set a new standard for the mainstream chocolate industry’ and was ‘precisely the kind of big commitment by a major player that can help us reach our goal of doubling our positive impact for producers by 2012’.
Fairtrade sales in the UK rose by almost 50 per cent last year to £700m. Cadbury is not the first big brand to get on board: Tate & Lyle will have all its retail sugar Fairtrade-certified by the end of the year, and Starbucks is also now committed to buying only Fairtrade coffee.