A fairer deal for cocoa growers

Posted on 9 Mar 2009 by The Manufacturer

Cadbury has announced a new deal to source cocoa for its Dairy Milk products from farmers in Ghana registered with the Fairtrade scheme.

There are around 700,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana and 40,000 will initially benefit from the new Cadbury deal which will see a lower cap on prices and the negotiation of higher prices for premium cocoa beans. Cadbury sells approximately 300 million Dairy Milk bars in the UK and Ireland each year.

“This is groundbreaking news for thousands of small farmers in Ghana, enabling all those who buy it to make a real difference,” said Cadbury’s chief executive, Todd Stitzer.

This news came after later in February the firm announced it has bright prospects for 2009 following six per cent sales growth in 2008.

Slightly down on 2008, the purple-branded chocolate maker has predicted sales growth of 4-6% this year and Stitzer said the company is on course to hit its target of a growth percentage in the mid-teens by 2011.

Pre-tax profits rose by 57% to £400 million last year, the Birmingham-based Creme Egg maker announced.

“We have consistently said we are recession-resilient rather than recession-proof,” said Stitzer. “We don’t expect to be immune from macro conditions. We have given a confident but realistic outlook about what is going on in the real world. Everyone has got ‘09 coming in a little slower than ‘08.”

For Stitzer, the firm’s branding is the most important factor in its success, coupled with consumer desire to spend even through times of low expendable cash, albeit on cheaper luxuries rather than expensive commodity items. “In difficult times, people gravitate toward brands they know and love, and affordable treats,” he said

This sentiment was backed by the firm’s rival Nestlé previously announced it is to raise its dividends by 15 per cent, “reflecting strong performance in 2008 and confidence for 2009.”