A fair trade Easter gives cocoa farmers taste of a better life

Media Releases article written on the 10 Apr 2014

Oxfam is encouraging Australians to have a Fair Trade Easter, after IBISWorld data confirms spending on chocolate is set to be $191.4 million – a 4.5 per cent rise from last year.

Oxfam Australia National Sales and Marketing Manager Russell Schrale said purchasing Fairtrade chocolate this Easter helped ensure farmers in the developing world received a fair price for their produce.

“Only 4.9 per cent of chocolate sold in Australia is Fairtrade certified, so the difference consumers can make to farmers in the developing world by choosing Fairtrade products is huge,” Mr Schrale said.

“Fairtrade certification guarantees a minimum price for farmers and provides an additional sum of money, which can be used for community development projects such as clean water wells and sanitation facilities.

“Not only does Fairtrade chocolate help improve the lives of farmers, their families and their communities, it tastes delicious.”

One of the Fairtrade Cooperatives that supply the cocoa used in Oxfam’s Easter products is Kuapa Kokoo from Ghana.

Using Fairtrade premiums, Kuapa Kokoo have established eight schools, installed 19 boreholes and 350 hand dug wells to allow access to clean water, built seven toilet facilities and trained more than 60 women’s groups in leadership and the development of new skills for income generation in the off season.

Kuapa Kokoo Cocoa Farmer Comfort Kwaasibea tells of the positive changes joining a Fairtrade cooperative has had on her life.

“Fairtrade is good to the farmer and makes us happy,” Mrs Kwaasibea said.

“We have taken our destiny into our own hands. We have good drinking water, toilet facilities and schools. Kuapa pay the farmers on time and there is no cheating when the cocoa is weighted.

“We would like to sell more cocoa to Fairtrade so more farmers can taste a better life.”

For interviews or more information, please contact Sara Pelvin on 0448 554 495 or sarap@oxfam.org.au