Our Fairtrade buying power makes a difference

From: Jack Doherty, Cooden Drive, Bexhill on Sea
Huw Merriman MP with members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Fairtrade SUS-200220-100357001Huw Merriman MP with members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Fairtrade SUS-200220-100357001
Huw Merriman MP with members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Fairtrade SUS-200220-100357001

I would like to congratulate MP Huw Merriman on his stance as MP and vice chair of All Party Parliamentary Group on Fairtrade in severely questioning of Nestle’s decision to change from ‘fair’ Fairtrade conditions to lower standards for the chocolate and sugar farmers already in very poor countries of Cote d’Ivoire, Fiji and Malawi.

We rejoiced in good faith 10 years ago when Nestle showed a shift in ethical values by starting to use a small percentage of their sourcing of chocolate/cacao and sugar on Fairtrade conditions to make their iconic KitKats , guaranteeing a minimum price for the farmers and an agreed premium paid to the cooperative group of farmers community which they vote on to use for environment, health, poverty, training as they see fit to sustain their present and future. A good starting beginning but to our horror, Nestle want to stop their partnership with Fairtrade and move to Rainforest Alliance which does not guarantee a minimum price and is phasing out the essential earned premium. Farmers are devastated and see bleak future especially the even worse abandonment of the sugar producers.

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We are so pleased that Huw’s APPG statement @ Both Nestle and Fairtrade have benefitted from their partnership over the years. “British shoppers have grown used to KitKat guaranteeing equity and prosperity for the producers who create the chocolate we love. We are asking Nestle to think again, especially given the global economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.” MPs questioned the depth of consultation process with the farmers.

Without the Fairtrade income, the poorest will be at the mercy of the virus, poor health facilities, consequent poverty malnutrition and resort to refugee status if they can afford it!! We can stand idly by and witness another preventable fiasco occur and the effects…maybe washed up on our shores.

Let us all join in and let Nestle know (using these columns, social media, word of mouth, start an appeal etc) our disgust at their plans and reverse their decision ( U turns tend to be fashionable and a sign of honesty, justice and humility). The power of consumers - us - can make a better future. I think if I was that poor farmer….

Who can up with a picture, cartoon, poem, or other format, to illustrate this??

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Come on Nestle, give us all, chocolate lovers a break or we’ll have to break with you and find other Fairtrade chocolate brands, now.

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