Following the launch of Fairtrade-certified Dairy Milk plain slabs last year, Cadbury this month launched Faircrows - an interactive campaign aimed at protecting and empowering small-scale cocoa farmers in rural Africa through Fairtrade.
"Just as a scarecrow protects farmers' crops, the iconic Faircrow symbolises the protection and empowerment that Fairtrade certification provides for our producers," Cadbury said recently.
More than 70% of the world's cocoa beans are produced in Africa, from the Theobroma cacao (pronounced ka-kow) tree. Theobroma is Greek for "food of the gods."
The Fairtrade certification system ensures better working and living conditions for farmers, farm workers and their communities by building relationships between consumers and producers that tackle inequalities in global trade and increase market access for groups of smallholder producers.
The 2010 film "The Dark Side of Chocolate" by Miki Mistrati & U. Roberto Romano shone the spotlight on child labour and trafficking in west Africa where kids as young as seven years old work illegally in plantations, facing the dangerous job of cutting down and carrying heavy loads of cocoa, without any pay.
According to UNICEF, around 12,000 of the 200,000 children who work full-time on cocoa farms in the world's largest cocoa bean-producing country, Côte d'Ivoire, are likely victims of human trafficking and slavery.
The Fairtrade Mark was established in the early 1990s and about 7.5 million people across 60 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.
With the growing shift in consumers' social consciousness towards an interest in where and how the products they buy are sourced, companies are increasing the number of Fairtrade products on their shelves.
UK retail giant Marks & Spencer tapped into the demand for Fairtrade products in 2006 with the launch of a cotton clothing range through its "Look Behind the Label" campaign.
It has since expanded its range of Fairtrade offerings to include a host of products including, bananas, jam and sugar.
In 2010, the company stated its goal of converting 100% of all individual Marks & Spencer food, clothing and home items to carry at least one certification label such as Fairtrade by 2020.
The initiative forms part of their greater "Plan A" programme, which highlights its goal of becoming the world's most sustainable major retailer through combatting climate change, reducing waste and using sustainable raw materials.
Rivals Sainsbury's and Waitrose also offer branded and own-label Fairtrade products.
For nearly a decade, SA has been exporting goods such as wine, fruit and rooibos tea on Fairtrade terms to the UK and Germany.
In 2010 South Africans spent an estimated R18.4 million on Fairtrade products, a dramatic increase from 2009's R5.7 million, while global sales reached EUR4.36 billion - a 27% increase from 2009.
In a bid to educate consumers about Fairtrade, Cadbury has erected an 8 metre Faircrow - aptly named 'Cocoa' at the Melrose Arch Main Piazza and has invited the public to join in creating their own Faircrows from April 5-11.
According to the company, retail sales of Fairtrade products in SA are set to increase by over eight times as a result of its Fairtrade certification.
"The Faircrows campaign is an exciting and interactive drive which will encourage all consumers to look out for the Fairtrade logo, to buy Fairtrade and by doing so, contribute to the empowerment of small scale farmers," said Greg Banach, Kraft Foods Category Leader: Chocolate.
Cadbury was acquired in 2010 for GBP11.5 billion by US-listed global food giant Kraft Foods, whose brands include Philadelphia cream cheese and Miracle Whip salad dressing.
The Cadbury purchase formed part of the long-term strategy of Irene Rosenfeld, CEO and Kraft chairman since March 2007, who developed a three-year turnaround plan designed to drive the profitable growth of Kraft Foods.
Rosenfeld was this year ranked tenth by Forbes on its most powerful women list, ahead of Oprah Winfrey.
Late last month Kraft Foods announced plans to change its corporate name to Mondelez International, Inc.
This is in line with the company's intention to create two industry-leading public companies before the end of 2012: a high-growth global snacks business and a high-margin North American grocery business.
"As previously announced, the North American grocery company will become Kraft Foods Group, Inc., retaining the Kraft brand for its corporate identity and as the brand for many of its consumer products.
"As a result, the global snacks company will require a new name when it launches later this year," the group said.
"Mondelez" (pronounced mohn-dah-leez?) is a newly coined word that evokes the idea of "delicious world."
"Monde" derives from the Latin word for "world," and "delez" is a fanciful expression of "delicious."
Meanwhile, Kraft continues to use Cadbury brands in emerging markets to expand its products.
Last year, it said it would invest R160 million in a pilot skills programme in its sub-Saharan African operations as it positioned itself to double its revenue in five years in an increasingly competitive fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market.
"South Africa is a priority market for us, where we focus on power brands like Cadbury chocolate," Sanjay Khosla, Kraft Foods president of developing markets said.Source: The Times