Nestlé welcomes child labour survey

5 Aug 2015

Nestlé has welcomed the publication of the University of Tulane survey on child labour in cocoa-growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, and said it will use its findings to reinforce its efforts to eliminate child labour in its cocoa supply chain. While the Tulane survey shows that some progress has been made in tackling […]

Nestlé welcomes child labour survey

cocoa-seeds-hands-holding-fresh-33076189Nestlé has welcomed the publication of the University of Tulane survey on child labour in cocoa-growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, and said it will use its findings to reinforce its efforts to eliminate child labour in its cocoa supply chain.

While the Tulane survey shows that some progress has been made in tackling the issue, Nestlé  said it is clear that it remains a massive problem. The underlying causes of child labour are complex, the company notes, and industry,NGOs, governments, local authorities and communities must work together to eradicate it.

In 2012 Nestlé committed to eliminating child labour in key commodities including cocoa, and claims it was the first cocoa buyer to establish a Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS), as part of its Nestlé Cocoa Plan in Côte d’Ivoire.

The CLMRS employs local liaison people selected from farming communities to gather data on child labour, and provides cocoa farmers and their families with support so that children can attend school.

Nestlé recently extended the number of co-operatives in Côte d’Ivoire covered by this system – implemented by its partner,  the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) – to 22, and plans to extend it to cover all Nestlé Cocoa Plan co-operatives in the country by the end of 2016.

To ensure that appropriate action is taken when child labour is identified, and to deter it in the first place, Nestlé funded the construction of 40 schools in Côte d’Ivoire to improve access to education for children in communities where education infrastructure is missing and offer a viable alternative to farm work.

Nestlé says it is also working to reduce the risk of child labour by training cocoa growers to farm more effectively and increase crop quality and yields. In addition, it says it is emphasising the importance of equal opportunities for women – providing training and support to improve their lives through income-generating activities.

Nestlé is a member of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), an international organisation that promotes sustainability in the cocoa sector.