Earlier this year, we witnessed the influence our collective power has over corporations when Hershey’s finally made the commitment to have 100% ethically sourced cocoa by 2020. At the start of this year, the company announced that 18% of all the cocoa the company sourced globally in 2013 was certified, nearly double the company’s original 2013 goal of 10 percent.
While progress has been made with a big chocolate company, we continue to keep up the pressure by demanding other companies follow suit, and this time we we are focusing our energy on another cocoa offender: Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is the second oldest chocolate company in the United States and has a longstanding presence in San Francisco, California — where Global Exchange is based. Ghirardelli claims to make premium chocolate by carefully selecting cocoa beans of the highest quality, but real quality should not come at the cost of environmental destruction, poverty, and bitter child labor.
Since we launched our campaign late last year urging the company to label its chocolate as certified Fair Trade, over 700 letters have reached the desks of Ghirardelli and over 10,000 of you have raised your voices asking for a Fair Trade label.
All these efforts have prompted responses from the chocolate company, and executives from Ghirardelli have even agreed to meet with us next week for a sit down meeting. (Ghirardelli response #1, Global Exchange response, Ghirardelli response #2)
They have made it clear that they have no intention of converting to Fair Trade, which only fuels our enthusiasm for this campaign.
Despite this response, we will keep on trying. We were successful with Hershey’s and believe that with consistent pressure, and your help, we can get Ghirardelli to put a Fair Trade label on it!
Post written with the assistance of Global Exchange summer Fair Trade intern, Nadia Garcia.