On 13 April 2017, Lidl claimed to be the first retailer to go 100% sustainable with their cocoa. A claim we made ahead of Fairtrade Fortnight, in February. The following letter has been sent as clarification to the Times.
We applaud Lidl’s move to only source 100% sustainable cocoa in their products. The Co-op led the way by announcing our own move earlier this year, but we’ve gone further by ensuring all our cocoa is Fairtrade certified. The Co-op sold the UK’s first Fairtrade-labelled chocolate bar in 1994 and switched our entire own-brand chocolate bar range to Fairtrade in 2002. Our new commitment means that over 200 Co-op products will use Fairtrade cocoa, from the chocolate chips in our cookies to the cocoa used in cooking sauces.
To make this commitment possible, Co-op and the Fairtrade Foundation have worked in partnership to develop a new retail ready cocoa sourcing model. Fairtrade tackles the root cause of unfair pricing. There are a lot of different certification schemes out there, but when we speak with farmers and producers, they tell as that Fairtrade is the one that works best. It protects working conditions and ensures a fair price.
The UK is the world’s biggest Fairtrade market and the world’s fourth biggest consumer of chocolate, but our manufacturers and retailers still only source a tiny amount under Fairtrade terms.
Demand for cocoa is set to rise by over 30% over the next three years alone, yet prices are dangerously low. It’s imperative that we keep moving forward with sustainability initiatives in order to shape this industry.
So go on and move a ‘Lidl’ further and try the Co-op way.