Lidl stores across North America are to begin stocking Way to Go!, the discounter's new chocolate bar, that uses 100% traceable and sustainable Fairtrade cocoa sourced from the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative in Ghana.
The Way to Go! bars have been available in Lidl stores in Europe since the summer and guarantee that farmers at the cooperative receive at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price for cocoa and the Fairtrade Premium, an extra sum of money for farmers to invest in their farms and communities.
Cocoa farmers in West Africa, where two-thirds of the world’s supply is sourced, have long struggled with extreme poverty and child labour abuses. Living income – the amount needed for a worker to meet their basic needs – is a critical step in fighting and eventually eradicating these issues.
Innovative second premium
Lidl said it has also partnered with Fairtrade to pay an innovative second premium for every metric ton of cocoa purchased for the Way to Go! bars. Lidl’s premium helps farmers increase income, diversify into new categories like honey, rice or soap, and develop new farming techniques to increase yields and income over the long term.
“We are thrilled to see Lidl grow its presence in the US and demonstrate it is possible to produce and sell affordable, sustainable chocolate, prioritizing human rights as well as the bottom line,” said Peg Willingham, Executive Director, Fairtrade America.
“If more retailers followed in Lidl’s footsteps by Fairtrade certifying their private label chocolate as well as by taking the extra step towards paying cocoa producers a living income, it would help eradicate systemic poverty in the cocoa industry, which contributes to child labour practices, deforestation and more. It is our hope that Lidl’s innovation spurs others to move toward a fair and ethical supply chain when sourcing cocoa.”
Lidl is a longtime partner of Fairtrade, and all private label chocolate bars sold at Lidl US are Fairtrade certified, the German-headquartered company said.
“Lidl is committed to investing in products and business models that deliver greater returns to people working in the supply chain, and this is especially important in the cocoa industry,” said Stefan Schwarz, Executive Vice President of Purchasing at Lidl US.
“By designing and launching the first private label chocolate bar with the objective of directly supporting workers, small-scale farmers and local communities, we are taking another important step in this direction. We are grateful for the support of our partners at Fairtrade, who help make innovative programs like Way to Go! possible.”
Lidl’s Way to Go! Bar will be available in milk and dark chocolate at all Lidl US stores.