We received some sweet news this morning.
As of today, all of the chocolate confectionery products that Nestle sell in Australia will be made using ethically sourced cocoa.
This is fantastic news! It’s a day when we can all feel proud that the advocacy efforts we have taken have really made a difference in the lives of cocoa farmers in West Africa, who are now guaranteed better working conditions and better incomes for the cocoa they produce for Nestle.
Since 2008, the Don’t Trade Lives campaign has been calling on the global chocolate industry to eradicate forced, child and trafficked labour from their supply chains.
Nestle is now the first of the big five global companies (Cadbury, Ferrero, Lindt, Mars and Nestle) to ethically certify against such forms of exploitation across their whole confectionery range.
It is an enormous milestone. It’s also a great step in building more sustainable and less exploitative livelihoods for cocoa communities.
The cocoa that Nestle will now be sourcing is UTZ Certified. This is an ethical certification labelling system, which promotes sustainability and better opportunities for farmers.
Shoppers will soon be able to look for the UTZ Certified logo on packaging to help them choose products that provide a better assurance against the use of harmful practices.
Whilst this is a tremendous achievement – there is still more to be done to continually improve the conditions of the people who are behind the products we consume.
At World Vision, we will continue to engage with Nestle and other chocolate companies to do more to transparently demonstrate that there is no forced, child or trafficked labour in their supply chains.
If you want to find out more about the cocoa industry, you can read our fact sheet Chocolate’s Bitter Taste.
But today on this Tuesday morning, I want to say congratulations to Nestle for making this commitment. Even more so, I want to congratulate you for everything you did, to make this a reality!
You sent postcards to chocolate companies and demanded better business practices.
You voted with your dollar and only bought ethical chocolate.
You spread the word and shared the story of men, women and children suffering exploitation in the cocoa industry.
And today demonstrates so clearly, that you are making a difference.
Ruth Dearnley is World Vision’s Campaign Leader for Child Protection and Trafficking in Persons. She also enjoys a chocolate fix every now and then!