Have a break, have a [Fairtrade] Kit Kat

Great news today as Kit Kat, Britain’s biggest selling chocolate biscuit, will go Fairtrade from January.

About 1 billion Kit Kats are sold every year in the UK and the switch is set to guarantee a better deal for more than 6,000 Ivorian cocoa farmers.Kit Kat goes Fairtrade

Gareth Thomas MP, our Trade & Development Minister said:

“I am glad to see Kit Kat become Fairtrade certified, giving more British shoppers the chance to improve the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. This will give thousands of Ivorian cocoa farmers better opportunities to trade their way out of poverty.”

Fairtrade continues to grow despite the recession. The Fairtrade Mark appears on 4,500 products, and last year more than £700m was spent on Fairtrade goods in the UK, an increase of more than £200m on 2007. And thanks to a Labour Government, Fairtrade will continue to grow.

In October, Secretary of State Douglas Alexander announced £12m of new funding for Fairtrade, to help twice as many farmers in the developing world work their way out of poverty. The funding will bring another 1 million producers into the scheme and so enable 7 million more people in poor countries to benefit from a better deal offered by Fairtrade.

Returning to the Kit Kat, this is a victory for Fairtrade supporters everywhere. For years Nestle were vehemently opposed to Fairtrade. But as with their attempt to sue the Ethiopian government a few years ago, they have bowed to public pressure. First with their coffee product, now with Kit Kat – that may be just two product lines, but now we have our feet firmly wedged in their door. There is a long way to go, but no way back.

To get involved in Fairtrade campaigning go to www.fairtrade.org.uk

by David Taylor, Labour Campaign for International Development