Premium Belgian chocolate brand Guylian has confirmed it will partner with Fairtrade America, which the company says marks a step towards more ethical trade for the company. The new deal will see the chocolate company use 100 % Fairtrade cocoa in its US confectionery lines, with the new products clearly labelled as Fairtrade to distinguish them.
The partnership has been welcomed by Fairtrade America as a sign that Guylian is ready to help participating West African cocoa farmers achieve a fair living wage. Fairtrade America points out that the global cocoa and chocolate industry is worth USD 48.29 bn and is expected to grow. In contrast, cocoa farmers in Ghana and Ivory Coast – the world’s two leading cocoa producers – earn less than USD 1 per day, well below the UN extreme poverty line.
To make matters worse, the value of the local currency has fallen due to inflation, while production costs (e. g. for fertilizer) have risen dramatically. Nothing has changed in the already low prices paid to farmers.
The Guylian development is a positive step in the right direction and will result in cocoa farmers in the company’s supply chain receiving the Fairtrade minimum price. In addition, the agreement is expected to generate an additional USD 500,000 in Fairtrade premiums.