BONN, Germany – Fairtrade cocoa farmers have received another major boost as Ferrero announced its collaboration with Fairtrade at the International Fairtrade Conference in Berlin. Ferrero will purchase a total of 20,000 tonnes (MT) of Fairtrade certified cocoa over the next three years.
“We’re delighted that Ferrero is taking this most important leap on their sustainability journey.
The future of cocoa farming communities, indeed the future of cocoa, depends on commitments like this.
We look forward to the transformations Fairtrade farmers will create in their farms and communities thanks to Ferrero’s investment,” said Harriet Lamb, CEO of Fairtrade International.
More money for farmers to invest in production and community
For cocoa farmers, the deal means more sales on Fairtrade terms and more Fairtrade Premium money to dedicate toward farm improvements, community services, and other projects they deem most important.
Fairtrade remains the only ethical certification scheme that provides defined premiums of US$200 per tonne above the purchase price which are paid directly to the farmers’ organizations, and managed for their own self-development.
The farmers will also benefit from the safety net of Fairtrade’s minimum pricing model, as well as programmes and training through Fairtrade.
“Ferrero will use 100 percent sustainably certified cocoa for its confectionery production by 2020”, said a Ferrero spokesperson.
“The Fairtrade Sourcing Program is an integral part of achieving this goal and thereby fosters Ferrero’s sustainability strategy.”
After an intensive test phase together in the last crop year, a three-year commitment has now been ratified. Ferrero plans to buy 20,000 MT of Fairtrade cocoa by 2016.
The aim is to apply the new Fairtrade Sourcing Program together with Ferrero and with the farmer organizations on a solid, wider basis in West Africa.
“By this cooperation we would like to push and promote the professionalization of cocoa cultivation, strengthen the small-scale structures sustainably and improve the income of farmers and their families”, emphasized Ferrero.
Ferrero sources from Fairtrade certified cooperatives in Cote d’Ivoire, who have welcomed the company’s commitment.
“We are excited about the new projects we will now be able to achieve. We have big plans to invest in renewing our aged cocoa plants, a warehouse, trucks to transport cocoa, school improvements, drinking water, and more. We are working to build up the strength of our members and their communities,” said Mr Moussa Bamba, President of Ecookim, one of the Fairtrade certified cooperatives in Cote d’Ivoire.
Growth through the Fairtrade Cocoa Program
The Ferrero announcement comes hot on the heels of the January launch of the new Fairtrade Sourcing Programs for cocoa, sugar and cotton.
Ten companies have already made commitments under the Fairtrade Cocoa Program representing a 22 percent increase in Fairtrade cocoa farmers’ sales in 2014 alone with further growth over the next years.
The Fairtrade Cocoa Program means companies can commit to use Fairtrade cocoa across product ranges or even their whole business. It is one more way to work with Fairtrade alongside sourcing all available Fairtrade ingredients in a product and labelling with the FAIRTRADE Mark.
Farmers benefit from all the same Fairtrade Standards including the Fairtrade Premium and Fairtrade Minimum Price. Ferrero will be using the Fairtrade cocoa across their business, not sourced for a particular product or range.
Ferrero announced the details of their Fairtrade commitment at the International Fairtrade Conference hosted by Fairtrade Germany and attended by over 200 participants, including German and global businesses such as Unilever, Coop and Rewe Group, the German State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Affairs, Gerd Billen, and keynote speaker Dr Auma Obama, founder of the Sauti Kuu Foundation.
 Figures based on 2012 estimated retail sales of Fairtrade cocoa. 2013 figures will be released later in the year.
Source: Fairtrade International