UK: Mondelēz drawback from organic and Fairtrade
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The UK chocolate maker Green & Black’s, known for trading organic chocolate products, is launching a new product which will be made under a new ethical scheme called “Cocoa Life” introduced by Mondelēz. As a result, the new product, chocolate bar “Velvet Edition dark chocolate”, will not be certified as being organic and fairtrade.
Cocoa Life is a new certification scheme developed by the US confectionery company Mondelēz, which expects the scheme to become a leading alternative helping more farmers in developing countries to grow cocoa. There is a good case to believe that this development will further weaken the impact of the Fairtrade movement among many other alternatives.
Besides the Velvet Edition dark chocolate, the Fairtrade mark got removed from Cadbury’s Dairy Milk range, another brand of Mondelēz International, this month, too. By 2019, Cadbury’s whole product line within the UK and Ireland will be made under the Cocoa Life scheme. However, the Classic range made by Green & Black’s, which will be relaunched and advanced next year, will still be labelled as organic and Fairtrade-certified.
Craig Sams, who once founded Green & Black’s and still works for the chocolate maker as a paid consultant argues that he does not assume this move to be weakening the Fairtrade movement, as Fairtrade was a partner in Cocoa Life, which he describes as Fairtrade with lock, stock and barrel.
Opposed to this, Oxfam GB’s ethical trade manager, Rachel Wilshaw, is afraid of people being left in confusion due to companies and brands renouncing themselves from the Fairtrade-certification. She says, by recognizing the Fairtrade label on products, consumers can be sure of knowing what they are buying.