Hit or miss: Nestle's move toward Fairtrade practices receives mixed response

Chocolate-covered ethics Confectionery giant Nestle announced that Britain's most popular chocolate bar, KitKat, will be Fairtrade from 2010.

The move, which will yield a better price for 6,000 African cocoa farmers, gained the company good press after years of condemnation over its promotion of baby milk in Africa. However, many campaigners were sceptical about the move, which came after a similar step by rival Cadbury Dairy Milk earlier in the year.

HOW I SEE IT - Mike Morgan, CEO, The Red Consultancy

A classic 'Sunday for Monday' push saw KitKat unwrap its move to Fairtrade cocoa. When a big brand makes a CSR move it is bound to generate coverage. KitKat would have been pleased with the breadth and depth of messaging around its investment and how it will benefit cocoa farmers.

But it did not melt everyone's heart. In the blogosphere, the iconic turned ironic when the initial tweet smell of success on Twitter was soured with the frequent reminders about KitKat's Nestle parentage and its negative reputation for alleged dubious practices in the developing world.

But Nestle stymied some of this criticism with its MD's description of the change as the 'beginning of a long journey'. And he is right: in taking this step, Nestle will be expected to take many more.

Overall a good day for Kit Kat but an even better day for Fairtrade.'


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