THE Archbishop of York has hailed a decision by Nestlé to launch a Fairtrade two-finger KitKat next month.

The York confectioner’s move means more than a billion bars a year will now carry the familiar Fairtrade mark and gives a boost to an additional 4,500 cocoa farmers in the Ivory Coast.

The Archbishop, Dr John Sentamu said he was delighted by the news. “Having been to the Ivory Coast and met farmers there, I understand how great the challenges are,” he said.

“We must continue to press for a fair deal for producers, and for the welfare of children and families in their communities. “This latest step is a sign of Nestlé’s ongoing commitment to change across the whole cocoa industry.”

KitKat, the UK’s favourite chocolate biscuit bar, first went Fairtrade in January 2010 when the four-finger version was certified.

Ciaran Sullivan, Nestlé Confectionery managing director, said the launch of the two-finger version was the next step on the company’s journey toward a sustainable supply of quality cocoa.

“Farmers in the Nestlé Cocoa Plan receive benefits such as new plantlets, farmer training and new schools for their communities,” he said. “Ivorian farmers badly need our support and this move will help even more cocoa farmers and their families build a positive long term future.”

Mike Gidney, of Fairtrade, said: “This is sweet news not only for the farmers and communities but also for consumers. “We know how much Kit Kat four-finger going Fairtrade has been able to transform communities in the Ivory Coast.

“For example, the Fairtrade certified co-operative Kavokiva has already been able to develop a variety of community projects including health insurance for all members and their families with their Fairtrade premiums. “We are very excited now that Kit Kat two-finger is going Fairtrade.”

Ivorian farmer Kouame Fasseri, who has appeared on the back of the Fairtrade four-finger KitKat since its launch, said that when people bought such products, it was small farmers like him who benefited. “Nestlé has been a very good partner to us,” he said.