8 December 2009 | Jake Kanter
Confectionery giant Nestlé is committing to paying a reasonable price for cocoa as part of plans to make its Kit Kat chocolate bar Fairtrade.
From January, the company will pay cocoa suppliers in the Ivory Coast the current market price for the commodity, and no less than an agreed minimum of $1,600 (£978) a tonne.
International Cocoa Organisation figures show cocoa is trading at $3,535 (£2,159) a tonne. But poverty forces many suppliers to significantly drop prices to make a quick sale.
Nestlé will also pay a Fairtrade premium of $150 (£92) per tonne to help providers invest in development projects, including building healthcare and education facilities.
The agreement will help boost sales for 6,000 certified vendors in the Ivory Coast Fairtrade cocoa group, Kavokiva.
Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation, said in a statement: “The significant volumes of cocoa that go into making Kit Kat will open whole new possibilities for these farmers in the Ivory Coast, giving them a more sustainable livelihood and the chance to plan for a better future.”
The decision to make Kit Kat Fairtrade follows a similar move by Cadbury, which secured Fairtrade certification for Cadbury's Dairy Milk earlier this year