Here’s an Easter treat for chocolate lovers: proof that no brand is so big it can ignore its customers.
A month ago Oxfam launched Behind the Brands with a call to “change the way the food companies that make your favorite brands do business.” In just a few weeks thousands of tweets were sent to the companies, including a huge Thunderclap on International Women’s Day and many thousands of Facebook shares and comments. More than 60,000 of us have taken action to ask the ‘Big 3’ chocolate companies, Mars, Mondelez and Nestle, to do right by the women who grow their cocoa. Today, two of them have shown they’re listening.
After more than 60,000 people took action, Mars and Nestle have agreed to do more to ‘know and show’ how women are being treated in their cocoa supply chain, to commit to a plan of action, to work to sign on to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, and to work with industry organizations to address gender issues. These moves are happening because of the pressure you applied.
Oxfam is encouraged by their commitments and the effects this could eventually have on women cocoa farmers around the world.
Women working in cocoa production often earn less than $2 a day and face uphill battles on accessing support and training. Mars, Mondelez and Nestle have the power to change this and to help women to succeed and overcome the poverty that they and their communities face.
“Women cocoa farmers and consumers around the globe have made their voices heard,” said Dr Helen Szoke Chief Executive of Oxfam Australia. Mars and Nestle have taken important steps to show the farmers they rely on, their customers and the rest of the food industry, that they care about the conditions women face in their supply chains including low pay, discrimination and unequal opportunity.
We’re looking forward to working with Mars and Nestle to ensure they keep their promises to women and now call on Mondelez who own brands like Cadbury to follow suit with similar commitments.
Mondelez International, which controls 15% of the global chocolate market, has yet to act. So the question is – Mondelez, will you listen to your customers and act?