Young Leaders Meet Cocoa Farmers and Head of Fairtrade,UK

January 24, 2012
Young Leaders Meet Cocoa Farmers and Head of Fairtrade,UK

Nestlé and Fairtrade Foundation invite farmers to York to celebrate two years of Fairtrade certified Four-Finger KITKAT. Farmers and Harriet Lamb, Executive Director, Fairtrade Foundation UK meet with Archbishop of York’s Young Leaders To celebrate the 2nd anniversary of KITKAT four-finger becoming Fairtrade certified, Nestlé UK and Fairtrade Foundation have invited two cocoa farmers from the Cote d’Ivoire as guests of honour to York.  The farmers will visit a local school and receive a tour of the Nestlé site to follow the journey of their Fairtrade certified cocoa beans becoming KITKAT four-finger bar. Cocoa farmer, Mr Koaume Fasseri has appeared on more than 400 million Fairtrade certified four-finger KITKATs since January 2010.  He will be visiting alongside Mr N’Guessan, the head of the Kavokiva Co-operative, the farmers of which produce many of the Fairtrade certified cocoa beans for Nestlé Confectionery.

As part of the visit, the farmers will be joined at Manor C of E School by Harriet Lamb, Executive Director of Fairtrade Foundation UK to meet pupils participating in the Archbishop of York’s Young Leaders Award’ aimed at 14-16 year old school children.  The 23 students from Manor CE School have opted to complete this Award in Leadership over the next two years, which is to supplement their GCSE qualifications and will participate in an interactive session with the farmers and Harriet. Later this year, a school built by Nestlé will be completed in Mr Fasseri’s village as a thank you for his support over the last two years.  This is part of The Cocoa Plan, a Nestlé initiative to invest over £65 million over the next ten years to address key farming, economic, social and environmental issues communities we work with face. The three day visit will include a tour of the Nestlé York site, following the arrival of cocoa beans from Cote d’Ivoire through to the production of the milk chocolate and on to the KITKAT factory to see the bars come off the production line.

The Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu said:

“I visited the Kavokiva Cooperative with David Rennie, Managing Director of Nestle in 2009.  We saw the dedication and hard work of farmers such as Mr Fasseri and Mr ‘Guessan, upon whose life and work the company depends.   I think it is fantastic that these young leaders at Manor School will learn about the importance of the Fairtrade movement on KITKAT’s second anniversary, and how this is making a difference for the well-being of cocoa farmers and their families”.

David Rennie, Managing Director, Nestlé Confectionery UK & Ireland said:

“The Nestlé Cocoa Plan was brought to life in the UK by our links with the Kavakiva Co-Op and Fairtrade certification of KitKat. I have seen for myself the difference it is making to the farmers and their communities and I am delighted that Mr Fasseri and Fulgence are in York to meet employees, see the KitKat factory and build even closer links between ourselves and the farmers of Cote d’Ivoire.”

Quote from Harriet Lamb:

“Fairtrade seeks to connect farmers and workers who grow our food with the public who enjoy those goods.  So it’s great marking the second anniversary of KITKAT four-finger bar becoming Fairtrade, cocoa farmers from the Ivory Coast can visit the UK to see the whole process of chocolate production, to speak to Nestlé staff and to meet chocolate lovers and Fair trade campaigners.  This is a rare and empowering experience for all involved.  It is a great step in the growing partnership between Nestle and the cocoa farmers, in this year when Fairtrade is asking everyone to Take a Step for Fairtrade in 2012.”

About The Cocoa Plan: Cocoa Plan committing to invest over £65 million over the next ten years to address key farming, economic, social and environmental issues that the farming communities that we work with face. The Cocoa Plan builds on the £35 million that Nestlé has invested in cocoa sustainability initiatives in the last 15 years, particularly in the areas of plant science and initiatives to address social concerns such as child labour. The Nestlé Cocoa Plan focuses on:

  1. Improving  the quality and quantity of yields by providing farmers with 12 million stronger, more productive cocoa plants
  2. Offering farmer training to teach more efficient farming methods – such as pruning of trees and drying of beans
  3. Improving the supply chain by buying beans from farms which use sustainable practices
  4. Working with organisations such as the International Cocoa Initiative, World Cocoa Foundation and certification organisations such as Fair trade to tackle issues such as child labour and poor access to education.

About the Young Leaders Award The Young Leaders Award combines classroom learning, with practical projects focused on community action.  It is an exciting course for secondary school students developed by the Archbishop of York Youth Trust. Available for schools and churches this resource will equip young people to be a force for good in their local community.

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