Don’t Trade Lives pauses action on Arnott’s

Posted by Josette Dunn on 9th April 2010

World Vision has taken the decision to pause campaigning activities aimed at Arnott’s for a 6 month period in response to the company publicly committing to address potential labour exploitation in its West African supply chain.

chocolate swirl - Cadbury
World Vision’s Don’t Trade Lives campaign activities prompted a meeting between World Vision and Arnott’s executives on 29 March 2010, following which Arnott’s issued the public statement.

World Vision is encouraged by Arnott’s acknowledgement that the worst forms of child labour and human trafficking remain issues in the cocoa industry and their preparedness to investigate this issue in their supply chain.

The global chocolate industry has known about its use of exploited labour in West Africa for well over 10 years and has been slow in collectively addressing this issue. Arnott’s sources approximately one quarter of its cocoa from West Africa.

However, unlike Mars, Nestle, Ferrero and Cadbury, Arnott’s is not a member of the Confectionery Manufacturers of Australasia, the industry body that has been a key target of the Don’t Trade Lives campaign over the past two years.

Don’t Trade Lives calls on Arnott’s to ensure its supply chain is transparent, traceable and independently verified to reassure Australian consumers that they are not indirectly supporting the use of exploited labour. We eagerly await the details of Arnott’s plan to source ethical cocoa that is independently certified by the end of September 2010.

Ethical certification, like the Fairtrade label, aims to ensure products meet agreed environmental, labour and developmental standards. Fairtrade certification also allows Australian consumers to easily identify ethical products.

“Cadbury and Green & Blacks recently agreed to clean up their cocoa supply chains, and Cadbury has just released its first Fairtrade certified product line in time for Easter,”  World Vision Australia’s CEO Tim Costello said.

“I commend Cadbury and Green & Blacks on their decision to switch to Fairtrade cocoa and after last night’s meeting with Arnott’s, I am very hopeful we will see Tim Tams and Mint Slices made from ethically sourced cocoa on the supermarket shelves soon.”

Don’t Trade Lives will continue to actively call on the global chocolate industry to guarantee farmers a fair price for their cocoa and to eliminate exploited labour from cocoa production by 2018.