We have been receiving an overwhelming number of comments and emails in response to the recent news from Nestlé about going Fair Trade on four-finger KitKats in the UK, by January. Many of you want to know what this now means about STOP THE TRAFFIK’s stance towards Nestlé. Many people are highlighting Nestlé’s appalling ethical record, campaigns that advocate boycotting Nestlé products, and the fact that Nestlé have openly admitted to only caring about their shareholders and profits.
We want to reply to all these comments with wholehearted agreement. We are not denying – nor can we forget – Nestlé’s unethical record, or the anger and disgust that people feel towards them. Even for our chocolate campaign we have so many more questions – Why have you only given a date for the four finger Kit-Kat out of hundreds of ranges? Why only in the UK?
So, a Fair Trade four finger Kit Kat in the UK by January. Is this enough? NO. But is it something? YES.
Only time will tell whether Nestlé fulfils its promises and proves it is not just a token gesture. We want Nestlé to engage in further steps towards ethical certification, and more measures towards cleaning up its act. STOP THE TRAFFIK will continue to pressure Nestlé until it does so.
We are however pleased because this move, however ‘small’, ‘token’, and ‘insignificant’, is still an acknowledgment of the fact that Nestlé sources from farms in the Ivory Coast that use child trafficked labour. For the first time, Nestlé have admitted doing something wrong. This is significant because during the chocolate campaign many of us called Nestlé to question them about child trafficking in their supply chain. Nestlé claimed not to know where they were buying cocoa from, they claimed that they didn’t know about child trafficking, and said it was ‘impractical’ to find out whether children were being forced to pick their cocoa. The fact that they are now acting is by default an acknowledgment of the unethical practices that occur, and also is an example of the power of consumer and campaign pressure.
We will continue to campaign against Nestlé. A huge amount of the cocoa they purchase is still excluded from the scheme, and is not monitored by an independently verified certification – and we will continue to push for this.
We are not silenced by this, and we don’t expect you to be either.