KitKat kicking cocoa farmers when they’re down

A message from Stefan, Supporters’ Team at the Fairtrade Foundation:

Just two days ago we shared some deeply disappointing news: Nestlé plan to stop using Fairtrade ingredients in KitKat bars.

Already thousands of you have told us this is an unacceptable decision. Petitions have started up, including this one by committed campaigner Joanna Pollard, which is really taking off on Change.org.

Sign Joanna’s petition

Joanna lives near York, where KitKat was invented and is still made. And just three months ago, during Fairtrade Fortnight, she welcomed an Ivorian cocoa farmer to the city.

Having heard how Fairtrade means that farmer has a stronger voice, empowering her and her community to build a better future, Joanna was appalled to learn a company based in her community plans to take all this away from vulnerable communities during the global Coronavirus crisis.

Joanna’s petition has only just launched, but it’s already being backed by the National Union for Students, CAFOD, Fair Trade Wales, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum and the Fairtrade National Campaigner Committee, among others.

And that’s not all. Support for farmers urging Nestlé to stick with Fairtrade has come from so many places – we’ve seen MPs tweeting and writing to Nestlé’s CEO, charities and campaign groups speaking up and hundreds of you asking Nestlé questions on social media.

As well as Joanna’s Keep KitKat Fairtrade petition, we’ve seen thousands of supportive messages for farmers from campaigners, MPs, charities and in the media.

If enough people speak up, there’s still a chance to convince Nestlé that this isn’t an acceptable way to treat farmers, already battling the biggest health and economic crisis of a generation.

Nestlé may be planning to take one of the most popular Fairtrade chocolate brands off UK shelves, but you have told us loud and clear that – now more than ever – it’s time to listen and give farmers a say in their future.

In a letter to Nestlé, Ivorian famers called on the company to maintain its commitment to Fairtrade and shared how it has benefited producers during the current health crisis, enabling them to act quickly against Covid-19 to protect their health and support their communities.

You can read that letter in full on our website, alongside our statement on Nestlé’s decision.

Thank you so much for all the messages of support for the affected farmers – remember you can join Joanna’s campaign by signing her Change.org petition.