Tim Newman, Campaigns Director, International Labor Rights Forum
Cadbury announced today that it is committed to achieving Fair Trade certification for its Dairy Milk bars in Canada, New Zealand and Australia by early 2010. The news builds on Cadbury's previous decision to certify Dairy Milk bars Fair Trade in Britain and Ireland. Those Fair Trade bars arrived on shelves in Britain this summer. According to Cadbury, the sales of their Fair Trade chocolate bars will quadruple Ghana's Fair Trade cocoa sales. This is a big deal in terms of improving the lives of cocoa farmers in Ghana and Cadbury is clearly leading the way among major chocolate companies.
We just updated our "thank you" e-mail action to include the new announcement -- check it out and send a note to Cadbury here!
Of course with this major expansion of mainstream Fair Trade chocolate, the big question is: when can we get Fair Trade Cadbury chocolate in the US? That might prove to be more difficult because Hershey seems to be getting in the way. In the US, Hershey owns the license to produce most Cadbury chocolate here and unlike many companies, Hershey has not committed to any certification programs to improve working conditions for cocoa farmers (more background on Hershey's cocoa policies here). It is very unfortunate that Hershey is dragging its feet in terms of responsible cocoa purchasing, but there are some things we can do to show that US consumers want chocolate that is not made under exploitative conditions.
- Leave a comment on this blog post on Cadbury's Dairy Milk blog thanking them for supporting Fair Trade and asking them to expand Fair Trade to the US market;
- Collect signatures on this petition to Hershey and send them back to ILRF -- instructions as well as information on how to make Fair Trade S'mores here.
- Take a photograph of you and your friends with our Hershey campaign posters! Send your photos to volunteer[at]ilrf.org or upload them to this photo pool on Flickr.
- Send an e-mail to Hershey, Mars and Nestle telling them to stop child labor in their cocoa supply chains.
- Sign up for Reverse Trick-or-Treating! It's not too early to order your Reverse Trick-or-Treating kit for Halloween. This is a fun way to build the movement for Fair Trade chocolate.
- SPREAD THE WORD! Once you have taken any of these actions, you can increase your impact by recruiting 5 friends to join you. Link to this blog post on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, your own blog or anywhere else that works for you.
Cadbury's announcement about their decision to expand Fair Trade chocolate in Britain, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia is in part a signal of the strong movements for fair trade in those countries. Let's show US chocolate companies that we want cocoa farmers to be treated fairly and an end to trafficking and abusive child labor in the cocoa industry!