Saturday, December 05, 2009
Nestle KitKat to be Fairtrade - except for those where child slavery is involved
According to the Ekklesia news site, there will be an announcement on Monday 7 December that in the UK four-finger KitKats are to be Fairtrade certified. See "Campaigners give two finger salute to Nestlé":
Great news for the farmers in the scheme if properly independently audited, but raises questions about why Nestlé has not lived up to its promises to end child slavery in its cocoa supply chain more broadly.
As Ekklesia reports:
Stop the Traffik say the good news is only partial, as this will only apply to their ‘four finger’ product.
‘Two finger’ Kit Kats and all of their other chocolate products “will continue to exploit the chocolate slaves of the Ivory Coast from where Nestlé source most of their cocoa” they said in a statement.
For details of Nestlé's failure to live up to its 2001 promise to end child slavery in its supply chain and a reminder of Nestlé's token Fairtrade coffee and how it has used that to try to divert criticism of its coffee trading and to undermine the boycott over its baby milk marketing, see my earlier blog:
Here's the quote from the page with my full analysis - see that for links to supporting documents and images:
Mike Brady, Campaigns and Networking Coordinator at Baby Milk Action, said: "Nestlé is already using a Fairtrade mark on a token product representing just 0.02% of its coffee purchase to try to divert criticism of its trading practices, which have been blamed for driving down prices for millions of coffee farmers. While the coffee and cocoa farmers in Fairtrade schemes should benefit, if proper independent audits are done, that provides little comfort to the vast majority of suppliers outside the schemes. Legal action has been taken against Nestlé in the US over its failure to act on child slavery in its cocoa supply chain, despite public claims that it is doing so, and we have already seen it trying to divert this criticism by, for example, sponsoring an event on the abolition of slavery at the Labour Party Conference.
"When Nestlé is on the record as saying that charitable contributions should benefit its shareholders, we should not be too excited by one of the world's most boycotted companies pursuing something like this. We will continue to include Kit Kats on the list of boycott products and recommend that anyone who is concerned about promoting real change for people in developing countries support the boycott and buy their products from companies with positive business values, not just token initiatives. There are companies whose entire output is Fairtrade certified after all. Nestlé systematically violates baby food marketing standards, undermining breastfeeding and contributing to the needless death and suffering of babies around the world - the changes we have been able to force on Nestlé are because of the boycott and it will continue until Nestlé brings its policies and practices into line."