FairTrade launched a new campaign with a twist – the organisation created a stop-gap animation by Niels Hoebers, and backed by a number of celebrities to convey the impact of choosing chocolate with unknown origins vs a FairTrade bar.

The global campaign runs from July 1st to July 7th, which coincides with World Chocolate Day, and is aimed at raising awareness on the disparity between the sweet chocolate we all enjoy, and the bitter conditions of many of those in the supply chain.

We’re making the bitter cost of each non-certified chocolate bar instantly apparent – Nilufar Verjee, Fairtrade’s director of public engagement and global cocoa campaign lead

The animation shows two bars of chocolate, the first blandly wrapped bar from unknown origins that opens up to show a barren landscape of deforested trees with the headline ‘Hate Injustice?” followed by a colourful bar that unwraps a fair and bright future.

I do hand it to Fairtrade for keeping the message simple, fun and interesting, but I do have a reservation that the ‘Fair’ message is as much a Fairtrade branding exercise as an educational campaign.

We would expect this of a private company, but Fairtrade, is a not for profit Foundation with volunteers and that accepts donations from the public. I wish they would do a little more acknowledgement of other initiatives for the greater good of the sustainability movement.

It feels like they are brand building and using a walled-garden approach to drive their success. In fairness, there may be some reason for this as consumers make snap decisions while shopping, and a brand is necessary to link the positive associations in that instant.

Fairtrade has some great marketing creativity, and they are an interesting organisation to follow, I just hope there’s a future where they use their skills and brand strength to help the sustainability movement in a context that is beyond the gates of their own organisation.

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