16,000 Fijian sugar farmers impacted by a decision by Nestlé
July 3, 2020 9:04 am
Nestlé's UK KitKat brand has decided to take more than a break with Fairtrade in a move that will impact 16,000 Fijian sugar farmers who stand to lose nearly $US12 million in annual sugar sales and Fairtrade premiums.[Source: abc.net.au]
Nestlé’s UK KitKat brand has decided to take more than a break with Fairtrade in a move that will impact 16,000 Fijian sugar farmers who stand to lose nearly $US12 million in annual sugar sales and Fairtrade premiums.
ABC’s Pacific Beat reports that the UK’s Nestlé KitKat brand started its association with the independent non-profit organisation, which ensures farmers and workers get a fair deal, in 2009
The move, which has been described as ‘profoundly disappointing’ by critics, has come at a time of great uncertainty for global sugar markets.
Fijian sugar farmer and President of the Labasa Cane Producers Association Mohammaed Rafiq says most of the farmers are small producers who are dependent on their sugarcane farms to earn a living – it will be very difficult for them to survive.
Sugar farmers across 38 Fijian villages will be impacted as they lose both the US$9.9 million in sugar sales the deal provided but, also the additional US$1.39 million a year in Fairtrade premiums.
The CEO of Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand, Molly Harriss Olson, says the combined loss of sugar sales and Fairtrade premiums is a huge blow to the Fijian farming community.
Harriss Olson says in this global pandemic time when general economic situations in the world are very insecure it puts these farmers in a vulnerable position.
In a statement provided to Pacific Beat from Nestlé, they say it is now sourcing almost all Nestlé UK & Ireland sugar from UK sugar producers, with the remainder coming from Europe.”
Nestlé says they have provided a transitional support fund of nearly $US125 thousand to Fairtrade sugar producers in Fiji and Malawi who have been impacted by the change.