Arnott’s, the Australian biscuit business owned by Campbell Soup Co., has pledged to buy Fairtrade cocoa from west Africa.
The company said it would use Fairtrade cocoa that “prohibits the worst forms of child labour, ensures a fair and stable price and a Fairtrade Premium which is reinvested back into community projects”.
Arnott’s did not respond to an immediate request for further comment but Stephen Knapp, executive director for local Fairtrade organisation Fairtrade Australia New Zealand, said the food manufacturer’s move was a “win” for cocoa farmers in west Africa.
“Fairtrade is excited to be taking this step with Arnott’s, which demonstrates their commitment to making a difference in West Africa by purchasing Fairtrade Certified cocoa and empowering cocoa producing farmers to build a better and brighter future for themselves, their families and communities,” Knapp said.
Campaigners at World Vision Australia claimed its campaign against Arnott’s earlier this year had led to Arnott’s committing to buying “ethical” cocoa.
“Arnott’s sources 24% of its cocoa from Ghana in West Africa where there is widespread use of child labour in the cocoa industry. As CEO of World Vision I have visited the cocoa fields in West Africa where kids use dangerous machetes and pesticides, work long hours and often don’t go to school,” World Vision chief executive Tim Costello said late last week (28 October).
“World Vision understands that Arnott’s has signed an agreement to source its West African cocoa until 2012 through Fairtrade’s independent certification scheme. We are very pleased with Arnott’s commitment to source ethical cocoa.”