Keep KitKat Fairtrade!

Keep KitKat Fairtrade!

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Nestle have announced KitKats will no longer be Fairtrade. From October they will stop buying from cocoa and sugar farmers in Cote d’Ivoire, Fiji and Malawi on Fairtrade terms. That means ripping away around £2 million of annual Fairtrade Premium payments, in the middle of a huge health and economic crisis. Farmers will be getting less for their hard work and have less control over how they spend their money.

This can’t be right, especially when Nestle turned a profit of over $10 billion last year. Please join me telling Nestle’s CEO that we want KitKat to stay Fairtrade.

I live near York, where 1 billion KitKats are made every year. And just three months ago I welcomed an Ivorian cocoa farmer to the city, as she addressed a packed room. She told us just how much hard work goes into growing cocoa for our chocolate bars, and how getting a Fairtrade deal has meant she can change her life and her community for the better, from improving her home and earning more money outside of cocoa farming, to improving farming methods to grow her income.

Since that day, so much has changed. The Coronavirus crisis is pushing many cocoa and sugar farmers to the edge, making the security and flexibility Fairtrade offers more important than ever.

That’s why it’s so upsetting Nestle are choosing this moment to stop using Fairtrade cocoa and sugar in KitKat.

Up to 27,000 farmers in Côte d'Ivoire, Fiji and Malawi will feel the impact of this devastating decision, but have had no say in change. In fact the Ivorian Fair Trade Farmer Network have made it clear – farmers want to stick with Fairtrade.

 “As Fairtrade producers, our voice is heard and taken into account. We are treated with the respect and dignity we deserve. Stopping the relationship with Fairtrade is to silence our voices... This is a devastating blow for some of the world's poorest producers, many of whom live on less than a dollar a day.” Atse Ossey Francis, President Ivorian Fair Trade Administrative Committee

Now more than ever, multinational companies making huge profits from farmers’ hard work have a special responsibility to offer support and solidarity.

Instead Nestle are ripping millions of pounds of vital Fairtrade Premium funds from some of the world’s poorest farmers, at a time when their future is most uncertain and conditions most unstable. 

Nestle say they are considering offering other payments to cushion the blow for the farmers who stand to lose out. But farmers don't want charity handouts or temporary compensation, they just want to keep getting a Fairtrade deal, and to have a say in their own future.

10 years of Fairtrade KitKat has seen these farmers choose how to spend Fairtrade Premium payments, deciding democratically how to develop their farms and communities, for example building classrooms, training local women to start their own businesses, investing in  medical facilities and strengthening their cooperatives, amongst other things.

Now cannot be the time to disempower and disadvantage farmers. Especially with so many now needing Fairtrade Premium funds to protect their communities from the Coronovirus crisis.

When KitKat was being developed, Rowntrees – who then made the chocolate bar - were renowned as one of the best employers in my part of the country, always going the extra mile to support their employees with decent pay and conditions and high quality housing.

KitKat’s move to Fairtrade seemed to be a return to the bar’s benevolent history. Nestle still have their UK offices in York. Earlier this year I wrote to them urging them to stick with Fairtrade and stand behind farmers who work hard to build a better future for themselves and their communities. Nestle didn’t respond then, and this is not an acceptable response now.

Please Nestle, listen to those farmers telling you to stick with Fairtrade and do our community proud. Companies like yours can choose to support farmers to get through this crisis and invest in their families’ future.  You can choose to be part of the answer to the extreme poverty and global inequality that cocoa growing communities live with every day.

Farmers don’t want this change. Please add your name to show that we don’t want it either – together we can show Nestle the public won’t stand for decisions like this anymore.

This petition is supported by CAFOD, NUS, BAFTS Fair Trade Network UK, Tearfund, Commitment for Life, National Campaigner Committee, Fairtrade Yorkshire, Scottish Fair Trade Forum and Fair Trade Wales.

If you’d like more information about this in Welsh, please visit Fair Trade Wales website / I'r rhai sydd yn eisiau ymgysylltu mewn cyfrwng Cymraeg, gallwch gwneud hyn trwy cefnogi partner Fairtrade, Cymru Masnach Deg



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