KitKat Ceases Fairtrade Certification in UK

KitKat Ceases Fairtrade Certification in UK

Nestlé, the manufacturer of KitKat, is defending a decision to end Fairtrade certification for the KitKat brand in the United Kingdom.
The decision to cease Fairtrade ( Learn moredecision.
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Nestlé Defends Decision 
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Nestlé is responding to its critics in the media and the public by attempting to explain its rationale and articulate its own sustainability ( Learn morechocolate.
The company has explained that its decision to cease Fairtrade certification is actually a part of the plan to align sustainability certification with the certifier Rainforest Alliance. 
Cheryl Allen is Nestlé’s head of sustainability and nutrition, health and wellness in the UK. She believes the media presentation of the company’s decision has affected the narrative significantly. 
“It’s been quite important to us to try to put that right, to create a balanced understanding for people of what the changes actually mean,” Allen says.
Allen Alleges Media Bias
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Allen explains that cocoa farmers will still be protected under the new standards, something that hasn’t been explained in any of the Fairtrade communications: “[B]ecause we’re transferring from one certification standard to another, the farmers and cooperatives will take and will benefit from the Rainforest Alliance Premium.” 
Critics of Allen’s assertions about the Fairtrade Foundation point out that the Foundation discusses the comparative benefits of its own Fairtrade certification and the Rainforest Alliance certification.  
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Contention Over Financial Impacts 
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A particular point of contention is what if any financial impacts this change in standards will have for farmers. The Fairtrade Foundation claims that cocoa farmers will be harmed. 
On the other hand, Allen argues that the company will still pay premiums “to farmers for good farming practices,” and that the company is making additional investments “to ensure that what the farmers potentially would have received in Fairtrade Premium is more than compensated for.” 
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Comparing the Two Standards
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There has been considerable confusion about Nestlé’s decision, particularly what the farmers stand to gain from the Rainforest Alliance standards versus the Fairtrade certification. The two systems have important differences, so it is not possible to directly compare them on all points.
Where Rainforest Alliance certification promotes higher agricultural standards for farmers, Fairtrade offers a guaranteed minimum price. Fairtrade also has a strong emphasis on empowering farmers. 
Nestlé says that in transferring the farmers to Rainforest Alliance, it is expecting to spend GBP3.9 million (the U.S. $5.1 million) over the next two years, compared with GBP2.7 million if it would have stayed with Fairtrade. 

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