Seasonal

Fairtrade urges UK to buy more sustainable Easter eggs

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

94% of UK consumers  buy Easter eggs, yet 31% would avoid an ethical brand because of mistaken cost assumption, Fairtrade claims. Pic: Fairtrade
94% of UK consumers buy Easter eggs, yet 31% would avoid an ethical brand because of mistaken cost assumption, Fairtrade claims. Pic: Fairtrade

Related tags Fairtrade Chocolate Cocoa Sustainability

This Easter, shoppers can do more than choose between milk, dark, or white chocolate eggs; they have the power to make a significant difference to the cocoa farmers, says Fairtrade UK.

With the cocoa industry in turmoil after this week’s news of record cocoa prices​ on the futures market, last-minute Easter shoppers are being urged to help cocoa farmers.

Fairtrade UK said consumers can do more than choose between milk, dark, or white chocolate eggs after research shows that 94% buy Easter eggs, yet 31% would avoid an ethical brand because of mistaken cost assumptions.

The research for Fairtrade was carried out online by Opinion Matters earlier this year and revealed almost a third (31%) of those polled would overlook an ethical brand because they mistakenly assume that it costs more, while one in nine (11%) don’t know what Fairtrade stands for, with one in 14 wondering if it supports the farmers who grow cocoa.

The UK loves chocolate

Digging deeper, the research concludes that the UK clearly adores chocolate, and its appetite for the confectionery results in about 80 million Easter eggs being sold in the UK each year, with 94% of us saying we buy at least one. Taste and quality (47%) are consumers’ main priorities when making a selection, with price (36%) and convenience (25%) also key factors.

‘Although we are becoming more switched on when it comes to ethical consumption, more work must be done.  A fifth (21%) of us are eager to support products made to a high standard. Additionally, 18% believe in the importance of fair pay for farmers, and a further 18% only buy products that reflect their values around sustainability and climate change.’

Michael Gidney, CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation, said, “If you’re planning to buy an Easter egg this weekend, make it a Fairtrade one. Cocoa farmers are facing a fourth successive year of crop losses caused by climate changes.

“They tell us that it’s becoming very difficult to grow cocoa because rainfall patterns have changed, temperatures are rising, and farming costs have gone up. When your crop fails, you lose your income. Fairtrade’s Minimum Price and Premium provide them with a safety net, with the aim of covering their farming costs and enabling investments so they can plan ahead and remain in business.

“Together, we can all help cocoa farmers become more resilient, one Easter egg at a time, by looking for the Fairtrade Mark when we are out shopping.”

UK government petition

The Fairtrade Foundation is petitioning the UK government to deliver the promised funding and legal changes to new laws to protect forests and farmers. The move comes ahead of secondary legislation of the Environment Act, which will come before Parliament this year and outlines further details on deforestation.

Gidney added: “Under the banner of our 30th anniversary, we will continue to advocate for climate justice. Our world is perhaps more dangerous now than it was 30 years ago: the climate crisis, global insecurity, rising costs, and long-term low pricing continue to threaten farmers’ futures.  That matters to us all.”

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