By Sarah Wakefield, Sustainable Sourcing and Fairtrade Manager
Today, I’d like to indulge you for a moment to celebrate World Chocolate Day. Chocolate has always been one of my favourite treats and I know I’m not alone! But sometimes the people who grow cocoa can struggle to make ends meet. I love that our Fairtrade chocolate is not only delicious, but also does good for communities around the world. By choosing Fairtrade, you’re choosing the world you want.
Since 2002, all our own brand chocolate bars have been Fairtrade and since 2017, all cocoa we use in our products is sourced on Fairtrade terms. We’ve been selling Fairtrade chocolate since 1998, and our commitment on Fairtrade cocoa brings around £450,000 in premiums a year to farmers across West Africa and Central America. We’ve also been supporting the Women’s School of Leadership in Cote d’Ivoire through our cocoa commitment – you can find out more about these inspiring women here.
In celebration of Fairtrade and World Chocolate Day, I’d like to introduce you to two brand new chocolates bars to ensure that choosing Fairtrade is easy at the Co-op.
- Irresistible 57% Dark Chocolate Mint – Single origin dark chocolate with mint, made with carefully selected Peruvian Fairtrade cocoa. A perfect combination, rich and smooth with refreshing cool mint notes
- Irresistible Milk Chocolate with Almond & Sicilian Sea Salt – Single origin milk chocolate, made with carefully selected Peruvian Fairtrade cocoa. Smooth and creamy with crunchy Italian almonds and Sicilian sea salt. Taking inspiration from the popular sweet and salty trend we’ve seen within the market. The inclusions add a perfect additional crunch to this smooth and creamy Irresistible milk chocolate
If you’d like to try these, they’re available in store now for £1.60.
We’re also pledging £310,000 to Fairtrade producer communities
Communities and people around the world have been devastated by the effects of coronavirus. There’s a real and substantial risk that the most vulnerable cocoa farmers in the supply chain could be pushed into poverty, as cocoa prices have dropped by 28% since March due to purchasing restrictions on international trade.
We’re committed to protecting workers’ livelihoods and support in times of crisis, so we’re repurposing £310,000 of funding which will help projects all over the world. This includes £42,000 from Co-op and its supplier ICAM Chocolate UK Ltd going to Cat-Tocache cocoa Co-operative in Peru. They supply the Co-op Irresistible block chocolate, and the money will help them access emergency relief food parcels, essential PPE equipment for health personnel and quarantine hostels for people infected with coronavirus.
This is just one part of a five-point plan from our Co-op Global Wellbeing Charter, a new initiative which aims to provide monetary support to help global projects through the coronavirus emergency:
- Fairtrade – £310k to support Fairtrade producers through pandemic
- Access to clean water – £647k will be donated for clean water and sanitation projects
- We’re supporting a number of projects with our suppliers and other partners across the rest of our supply chain to address the impact of coronavirus to keep workers safe
- Climate change – signatory of the United Nations Recover Better campaign
- Increasing the visibility of Fairtrade products within Co-op stores with new product launches
Please continue to support Fairtrade. Every time you buy something that’s Fairtrade, farmers earn a minimum price, which helps protect them from global market volatility. Never underestimate the difference you make just by simply buying a chocolate bar.
I’d love to know what your favourite Fairtrade chocolate is, and what you think about our two new products.