UK Fairtrade chocolate specialist Divine Chocolate has called for buyers to have “ethical” targets.

In an interview with just-food, Divine commercial director David Francis said the company wanted “ethical considerations” to be included in the targets of retail buyers.

“Generally, they’re all targeting sales, volume, value, profit, availability. None of them really have targets about ethical products or anything else. You’ll meet buyers who are very much into it without a doubt, who really support the brands, and then you get the buyers who are not interested in the slightest whether you are Soil Association or Fairtrade,” Francis said.

The Divine executive, whose CV includes stints at IRI Infoscan, US eco-friendly brand Method and L’Oreal, believed targets could one day be changed to include ethical objectives – but he said larger companies could be the catalyst.

“I think you can get there but you almost need people at some of the bigger companies to drive that. If a P&G or a Unilever is doing buy-one-get-two-free, what chance have we as a small company got? Those companies curtail to the 50%-off launch programme. Consumers in the UK now are coached by the retailers to buy on deal,” he said. “And I’m a classic example of that.”

Divine was formed almost 15 years and was a pioneer Fairtrade FMCG brand in the UK. In recent years, the likes of Cadbury, Nestle and Mars have launched Fairtrade chocolate lines, which, while boosting the sales of Fairtrade products in the UK, has had an impact on Divine.

Click here for the full interview with Francis, in which he discusses competition in the UK Fairtrade and premium chocolate categories, Fairtrade Fortnight and the promotional intensity around Easter.