[tweetmeme] It would seem that you can’t walk through a supermarket or watch television these days without witnessing the greenwashing of fast-food chains and major producers. The marketing machines are full-steam ahead spruiking organic this, rainforest-alliance certified that and just about free-range everything else!
Apparently being ethical is important and the big companies are slowly cottoning on to the fact that consumers are concerned about the environment and the ethical treatment of people involved in the production of foodstuffs.
Cadbury is one such company and has recently launched a Fairtrade Certified range of its Dairy Milk product. Now whilst this blog, as a reflection of my own ethics, is dedicated to small, artisan and – where possible – local producers, I thought that it was important to shine the spotlight on the big guys for a second.
I was torn as to whether or not I should even mention this on FoodstuffMelb. For one, the chocolate was sent to me from a marketing firm, along with a well-written and considered press release. Would I be selling out and inadvertently marketing mass-produced product to my readers (all two of them – sorry mum and dad)? Moreover, other smaller producers and growers have been producing ethical and sustainable goods for decades, so why not focus on them?
I’m usually very cynical of major corporations’ intentions when they release such a product, as Cadbury have done here. If they are so concerned about the environment and ethics, why not make all their chocolate Fairtrade Certified? Why not go organic as well while they are at it? I read with interest in the media release that:
“Over 45,000 Ghanaian farmers have already benefitted from the move, and Cadbury globally hope to expand this to a million farmers over the next decade.”
However with a labor force in excess of 10 million people, of which 60% is dedicated to agriculture (a large portion dedicated to the production of cocoa), one must consider just how much of an impact this move is having on the people of Ghana. Ghana is responsible for over 20 per cent of the world’s cocoa production. Suddenly the impact on the 45,000 lives Cadbury claim to be helping seems like a splash in the ocean.
Whether this is merely a marketing stunt or not, one thing is certain, at least Cadbury are trying to make a difference. The more companies do to promote sustainability and ethical food production in Australia and overseas, the more the message reaches the masses.
So my decision to mention this product on FoodstuffMelb was a relatively easy one in the end. Regardless of the intent, the more people who hear terms like: sustainability, ethicality, Fairtrade and so on, the more people and the planet benefit from it. So with that, well done Cadbury.
Is your glass and a half full, or empty?