A "Glass and a Half of Joy" for Africa

Cadbury Dairy Milk to go Fairtrade in South Africa: a totally African Affair

As I write this, I´m busy munching one my favourite local chocolate brand, Cadbury´s (dairy milk – plain) which has recently “gone green” and has become the first Fairtrade certified confectionery brand in SA. Slabs carrying the Fairtrade Mark are due to appear on shelves towards the end of the year. Cadbury´s dairy milk will be the first ever Fairtrade chocolate slab made and sold in Africa.

For those of you who don´t know, Fairtrade certification is a system designed to ensure better working and living conditions for small scale farmers, farm workers and their communities through fairer prices, better labour conditions, community development and sustainability of the environment. Fairtrade offers consumers a powerful way to decrease poverty through their everyday shopping.

South African consumers have been exposed to fairtrade produce for a while although Cadbury´s dairy milk will be the first chocolate available locally. Currently there are 15 local wineries and one local coffee roaster selling Fairtrade brands in the country and imported coffee, tea and sugar is available. Apart from South Africa, Kenya is the second market in Africa where Fairtrade products can be found on the shelves in local shops.

Michael Nkonu, executive director of Fairtrade Africa adds that by establishing this all African cocoa supply chain, South Africans can enjoy their chocolate bar knowing it is a totally African affair.

With Fairtrade, chocolate companies pay the guaranteed Fairtrade minimum price of US$2000 per tonne of cocoa beans or the current world market price, whichever is higher. The minimum price is based on the costs of production and aims to protect smallholders from the volatility of cocoa prices. The farmers’ groups also receive the Fairtrade Premium of US$200 per tonne, which they invest in social, environmental or economic projects that benefit their communities. FLO-Cert, the independent certification body for Fairtrade International, monitors and audits the supply chain against internationally agreed Fairtrade standards.

The new look fairtrade slab

Some 1.4m slabs of Cadbury Dairy Milk [plain] are sold in South Africa every year, making it the nation’s most popular chocolate brand. Boudewijn Goossens, FLSA, says: “We congratulate Kraft Foods SA for their leadership in being the first major business in South Africa, and the first in an ’emerging market’ to recognise there is an appetite for Fairtrade among local consumers. With Cadbury Dairy Milk [plain] chocolates available in all major supermarkets, corner shops, petrol stations and even many spaza shops around the country, Fairtrade products will become available to all South Africans. That is so important because we all need to be able to contribute to a more sustainable world.”

The best news for lovers of Cadbury Dairy Milk [plain], like me, is that there will be no difference in the price or the product itself – consumers will still be able to enjoy the same great taste they love at the same price. However, now you can enjoy your favourite slab in the knowledge that it will help develop skills and ensure a sustainable living for the producers of these special ingredients.

And that’s a whole lot more joy per bite.

Some chocolate fun facts:

  • The word chocolate comes from the Aztec word xocolatl, meaning bitter water
  • Cadbury in England produced the first ever bar of chocolate in 1842
  • 3.56 million tons of cocoa was produced worldwide in 2009-2010
  • 231 Fairtrade certified producer organisations and farms reside in Africa – 56 in South Africa
  • Over 1.5 million individual farmers and workers benefit from Fairtrade sales globally. Including family members, it is estimated that over five million people directly benefit from Fairtrade.
  • Over 12 500 individual farmers and farm workers benefit from Fairtrade in South Africa.


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