KitKat goes Fairtrade – a campaigner's view.
Most of the negative comments here seem to come from people who know very little about the Fairtrade certification system. Thus we have elementary misunderstandings such as the Fairtrade Foundation shouldn’t endorse/validate Nestle. The certifier is FLO, and only products are certified, not companies: there is a big difference. Many companies have only 1 or 2 Fairtrade products.
If a product totally complies with the certification requirements, it would be wrong not to certify it; it does not indicate endorsement of the whole company. Personally I prefer not to buy Nestle products but Kit Kat is the UK’s most popular chocolate biscuit product; millions are sold all the time. Is it not a good thing that these, which would be sold anyway, are now to be Fairtrade? There is something egocentric and parochial about relating everything to one’s own buying habits instead of considering the wider picture.
The big picture is that babies in the developing world are dying in their thousands all the time for numerous reasons, of which poverty is the main one. We need to address this in various ways, and economic development via trade is essential. As much as possible of that trade should be fair. Who is to say that, albeit slowly, most large companies won’t start to have Fairtrade products – and then more Fairtrade products. In my view this is starting and I don’t criticise companies for moving in the right direction.
Jeannette’s comments first appeared on the Fairtrade Foundation site – you can read further comments here.
The full press release on Kit-Kat bars going Fairtrade is here.