Green & Black’s has just announced that it will source all commodities from fairtrade suppliers. That’s wonderful news and a boost to fairtrade producers worldwide. In 1994, Green & Black’s introduced the first fairtrade chocolate bar, Maya Gold, to the UK and later to the world. The beans for that bar are sourced from the Toledo Cocoa Growers Association, an organization I have covered on this blog before.
Over the years, I wondered why G&B’s carried only one fairtrade bar in its product palette. During an interview in July 2007, Neil La Croix, Head of Supply Chain for G&B’s, told me that the company wanted focus on developing a strong relationship with the TCGA, rather than engage with multiple fairtrade suppliers at a shallower level. In addition, he told me that there were constraints on the availability of organic fairtrade beans. It sounded a little hollow since most of the organic beans at that time were sourced from the CONACADO cooperative in the Dominican Republic which was and continues to be a certified fairtrade supplier. Fortunately, that question is now moot.
The big winner will be CONACADO who will supply the bulk of the beans for the company. The cooperative stands to gain about $485,000 in social premiums each year for the next ten years, according to one report.
Since Green & Black’s was bought by Cadbury in 2005, the recent acquisition of Cadbury by Kraft had raised the question of Kraft’s commitment to the fairtrade sourcing adopted by Cadbury last year. But the recent announcement (see my post on that topic) by Kraft that it will honor the fairtrade commitments made by Cadbury should lay those concerns to rest.
Check out these neat videos on G&B’s website