Four finger versions of the chocolate-coated biscuits will feature the fairtrade mark as of January next year. An advertising campaign to coincide with the fairtrade certification will run simultaneously with the launch.
Nestle chose Kit Kat to debut its fairtrade certification because it is its “leading confectionary brand and the UK’s favourite chocolate biscuit”. It will rival Cadbury’s partnership with the Fairtrade Foundation in Britain and Ireland – which saw Fairtrade Cadbury Dairy Milk bars launching in July.
David Rennie, managing director of Nestlé Confectionery, says: “UK consumers are increasingly interested in how we source and manufacture their favourite 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. Over 6000 Ivorian farmers will benefit immediately as a result of this news.”
The certification comes after the October launch of Nestlé’s global Cocoa
Plan which represents a £65m investment over the next ten years in programmes to address the key economic, social and environmental issues facing cocoa farming communities.
The Cocoa Plan will use Nestlé’s agricultural and scientific know-how to improve the quality and yield of cocoa plants, offer farmer training and education and improve the social conditions for farmers and their communities.
Fairtrade certification of Kit Kat will facilitate long term direct commitments to cocoa co-operatives including additional payments for the farmers to invest in community or business development projects of their own choice, such as improving healthcare and schools.
Petraea Heynike, executive vice president of marketing and sales for Nestle, says: “By combining the funding of farmer training and educations schemes with an extensive tree plantlet programme our Cocoa Plan aims to give farmers the best and most effective means to better their livelihoods.”
Cadbury celebrated its fairtrade certification with the launch of a music single from its TV ad, which was cleared of offence by the Advertising Standards Authority over claims of racial stereotyping.
Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation, says: “Mainstream brands such as Kit Kat bring the critical mass that is needed to tip the balance of trade in favour of disadvantaged cocoa farmers.”