The UK’s best-selling chocolate biscuit bar, Kit Kat, is to receive ethical certification through the Fairtrade quality mark. The fairtrade designation requires the company to use manufacture the bars following guidelines that address the key economic, social and environmental issues facing cocoa farming communities. Farmers living and working in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producing country, will be the main beneficiaries, as will sugar planters from Belize, who will supply the Fairtrade certified sugar. As well as the Fairtrade price (or market price if higher) for the cocoa and sugar, farmers’ groups receive extra Fairtrade premium payments to invest in long-term community and business projects of their own choice, such as education and healthcare.
Kit Kat, made in York, is the UK’s favorite chocolate biscuit bar, with 1bn sold here each year. Launched in 1935 and originally called Chocolate Crisp, it has grown to become Nestlé’s biggest confectionery brand in the UK, making up approximately 23% of its UK sales. The UK is the biggest market for Kit Kat globally, twice as big as the next highest, Japan.
David Rennie, managing director, Nestlé Confectionery, said: “UK consumers are increasingly interested in how we source and manufacture their favorite products and certifying our largest and most iconic brand is one of the ways in which we are committing to improving the lives of as many cocoa farming families as possible.” Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation, said the move represented a “breakthrough” for cocoa farmers: “Mainstream brands such as Kit Kat bring the critical mass that is needed to tip the balance of trade in favor of disadvantaged cocoa farmers.”