Cadbury Australia partners with Monpi to import Fairtrade cocoa, supporting PNG farmers

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 22nd April 2014
Cadbury Australia is set to import Fairtrade cocoa from PNG

Chocolate brand Cadbury Australia has announced it is set to begin importing Fairtrade cocoa beans from Papua New Guinea (PNG), in partnership with Fairtrade Australia New Zealand and agribusiness Monpi Cocoa Exports.

Cadbury Australia said it had supported the efforts of Club 3000, a group of smallholder cocoa farmers, to sell its cocoa under Fairtrade terms. Cadbury Australia said the 12 month project, delivered in PNG by Monpi Cocoa Exports, has been training Club 3000 farmers to produce high quality Fairtrade certified cocoa, “in order to bring sustainable income to the farmers and their families”.

The name Club 3000 refers to the average number of cocoa trees owned by the project’s 25 founding cocoa farmer members. Club 3000 has grown to include 629 farmers in Madang Province on the northern coast of PNG, according to Cadbury Australia.

“While relatively small in terms of the global cocoa market, the PNG cocoa industry offers great potential,” said Stephanie Saliba, Cadbury Australia spokesperson. “Sustainability initiatives like Club 3000 are helping farmers to improve the efficiency of their farming, increase their yields and in doing so improve their livelihoods and lives,” she said.

“We were delighted to partner with Cadbury and Monpi Cocoa Exports on the Club 3000 project, which will greatly benefit the 629 farmers involved,” said Molly Harriss Olson, CEO of Fairtrade Australia New Zealand. “Building PNG’s cocoa production capacity is a big step in the right direction for sustainability and ensuring Australia can meet the demand for ethical and delicious chocolate,” she said.

New project for Cadbury and Monpi

Following on from the success of the Club 3000 project, Cadbury Australia and Monpi Cocoa Exports have also announced a further partnership to provide training and support to 1,000 farmers in the northern Morobe Province of PNG, under the banner of the $400 million global Cocoa Life program.

While it is sometimes referred to as the ‘industrial heart’ of PNG, Cadbury Australia said Morobe farmers were still challenged by deteriorating roads and stretched local services in addition to typical farming issues like agricultural pests and diseases.

A non-government organisation (NGO) is set to join the partnership later in 2014 to work with Morobe farmers, their families and communities on a ‘holistic approach’ to improving the region’s cocoa industry and lives of farmers.

Cadbury Australia said better farming practices, improved education programs and a greater long-term investment in community infrastructure were some of the goals of the Cocoa Life program.

“As part of the world’s largest chocolate company, we have a unique responsibility to help transform the livelihood of cocoa farmers and their communities over the long-term,” said Stephanie Saliba of Cadbury Australia.

“Our vision is that in partnership with Monpi Cocoa Exports, and our NGO partner, we will work with farmers, their families and local communities to address areas of need with a particular focus on empowering women,” Ms Saliba said. “Those needs will be identified by the farmers and communities involved in the project,” she said.

Cadbury Australia said more details about the PNG Cocoa Life project will be announced in late 2014.