On Monday morning (December 7th) chocolate giant Nestlé UK will finally announce that Kit Kat is to be slavery free or fairly traded from January 2010.
But this good news is only partial. Though Nestlé have bowed to pressure from the STOP THE TRAFFIK campaign to clean up their act, they will also announce that this will only apply to their ‘four finger’ product. In other words, 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.
Over the last few years STOP THE TRAFFIK campaigners have put pressure on the big chocolate manufacturers around the world to eradicate the worst forms of child labour on the cocoa farms of Ivory Coast, West Africa where thousands of young children are trafficked, enslaved and abused to harvest the cocoa that makes over a third of the world’s chocolate.
Tens of thousands of our campaigners have written letters, sent emails and text messages, twittered, facebooked, made phone calls, worn t-shirts and, most importantly, refused to eat anything other than traffik-free brands of chocolate.
In response, earlier this year, Cadbury launched fair trade Dairy Milk in the UK and Ireland. However, when STOP THE TRAFFIK’s global campaigners continued to demand this policy be applied globally, it didn’t take long for the Dairy Milk fair-trade certification to spread to other parts of the world.
Weeks later Mars capitulated to STOP THE TRAFFIK’s “March on Mars” campaign, promising that their Galaxy range will be Rainforest Alliance certified in 2010 with their whole product range traffik free by 2020. We know, from a number of inside sources in the industry that these changes are directly due to the pressure that STOP THE TRAFFIK has exerted at community level.
Since summer 2009 STOP THE TRAFFIK has turned the heat up on Nestlé – a global giant with a poor human rights record – and in recent weeks has launched a new and hard-hitting Christmas campaign designed to bring the giant company to task.
STOP THE TRAFFIK has learnt that from January 2010 the four finger Kit Kats will be fairtrade and that this will be made public on Monday. However, Nestlé still refuse to budge on their two finger biscuits.
“We welcome the Nestlé announcement. We are relieved for the cocoa farmers and children in Ivory Coast. The surrender of Nestlé demonstrates that by making a simple consumer choice ordinary people can hold multi-nationals to account. Though we understand that it is hard to make all products ethical overnight, we want to see that this is more than a token gesture. So, we intend to keep the pressure on Nestlé until their commitment is global and product wide, like their competitor Mars. No chocolate should have the bitter aftertaste of slavery. Therefore our campaign continues”
Steve Chalke – Founder of STOP THE TRAFFIK and the United Nations Special Advisor on Community Action Against Human Trafficking
For more information on STOP THE TRAFFIK activities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the International Office on +44 (0)207 921 4258. Alternatively, visit the websites http://www.stopthetraffik.org/takeaction/chocolate/nestle.aspx and www.stopthetraffik.org