Mondelēz strengthens its efforts against child labour in the cocoa sector
25 May 2016 • Author(s): Victoria White, Digital Content Producer
Embode has published the results of two independent assessments, commissioned by Mondelēz International, of child protection in the cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
Mondelēz International commissioned these assessments as part of the company’s continuing efforts to empower cocoa-farming communities through its Cocoa Life programme. Embode assessed conditions in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana in 2015 and analysed the environment and national child protection infrastructure.
Cathy Pieters, Director of Mondelēz International’s Cocoa Life programme, commented: “It’s important for Cocoa Life to really understand the environment that we’re operating in and how we, with the efforts we’re making with partners on the ground, governments, and others, can best help combat child labor and improve child protection.”
The reports commend Cocoa Life’s holistic approach and direct work with cocoa communities in its supply chain. Embode recognises Cocoa Life’s potential to drive meaningful change at scale by tackling the root causes of child labour, and recommends that Mondelēz International build on its existing approach to strengthen cocoa communities’ capacity to foster the well-being of children.
For both countries, Embode’s recommends developing and implementing a child protection policy and code, which would explicitly require the reporting and referral of child protection cases, including child labor and child slavery. Embode also recommends that Cocoa Life takes more initiatives aimed at improving children’s access to education. Other recommendations from the assessments include working in closer partnership with local and national authorities to align and contribute to governments’ strategies for cocoa sustainability and child well-being.
Commenting on the actions to be taken following the assessment results, Cathy Pieters said: “We’ll consult with our programme partners and government authorities to strengthen existing child protection structures, improve access to education and continue to address root causes like poverty in Cocoa Life communities in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.”
Mondelēz stepped up its efforts against child labour in 2012
Mondelēz International has been working with its industry and supply chain partners to find solutions to the issue of child labour in the cocoa sector for many years. In addition to its contribution to industry efforts as founding member of CocoaAction and the International Cocoa Initiative, the company stepped up its efforts against child labour in 2012 with the Cocoa Life programme, a $400 million investment to empower 200,000 farmers and reach over 1 million people in cocoa-growing communities. Ultimately, the company aims to source all of its cocoa sustainably, mainly via Cocoa Life.
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