NZ’s Whittaker’s Chocolate has received The Good Egg Award for Australasia in the Easter Chocolate Scorecard. Whittaker’s have stood out for their proactivity and policies to prevent and remediate child labour/ trafficking and their care for the environment and deforestation.
“Whittaker’s is honoured to receive this award, and we hope it gives Whittaker’s Chocolate Lovers even more reasons to treat themselves with Whittaker’s Chocolate this Easter," said James Ardern, Whittaker’s CEO has responded to receiving the Good Egg Award.
"For us, becoming a signatory to the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) last year was a major milestone, especially given Whittaker’s relative scale within the global landscape of chocolate companies. We’re delighted to have been able to build on this by delivering a year early on our ethical sourcing commitment under the CFI, with our entire range of 116 products that are crafted with Ghanaian cocoa beans now 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified™."
Ardern said the business is looking forward to working with Rainforest Alliance, and directly with the two cocoa cooperatives that it sources from in Ghana, to deliver on its CFI commitment to full traceability of all the cocoa beans it purchases by 2025.
"It’s all part of our Good Honest Chocolate journey, which reflects Whittaker’s commitment to quality in all its dimensions.”
Australia-based Be Slavery Free is urging consumers to make a difference this Easter and buy their Easter chocolate from companies that are addressing human rights and environmental concerns.
Be Slavery Free has joined forces with USA based Mighty Earth and Green America to publish an Easter scorecard, analysing 13 major chocolate companies and 8 cocoa suppliers against criteria including child labour practice, sustainability and living income for farmers.
“The best performer, awarded the ‘Golden Egg’ from Australasia is New Zealand owned company Whittaker’s,” said Fuzz Kitto, National Co-Director of Be Slavery Free.
“Tony’s Chocolonely (a Dutch company whose products are not available in Australia) received the US, EU and UK Golden Egg for its intentional efforts to reshape the industry.”
“Chocolate maker, Godiva, was given ‘Rotten Egg Award’ for lack of responsibility by the company in all areas which are considered best practices in protecting the environment, ending child labour and moving towards a living income for farmers.”
An estimated 2.1 million children are in child labour in cocoa, almost all found to endure hazardous conditions and a form on modern slavery, according to researchers at Tulane University and as defined under the Australian Modern Slavery Act.
“Australians typically spend more than A$200 million on chocolate over Easter. Only 6% goes to the farmers living in poverty,” said Kitto.
“No parent or grandparent wants to give their children chocolate which other children suffered in the making of. We urge consumers to make a difference by buying from companies that are trying to do the right thing.”
“It’s 20 years since the world’s chocolate manufacturers agreed to be slave free but the pace of change has been too slow."
“Pledges have been made, nonetheless, what the new scorecard shows is that businesses are recognising that they cannot solve these issues alone.”
Seventy-five percent of responding companies publicly support mandatory due diligence for the industry as is being introduced by the European Union and being discussed in the USA.
“Companies are also starting to address child labour with all but two companies now having a Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System. This shift has been seen in the last 5 years.”