Our belief is that no child should ever be harmed in the growing or harvesting of cocoa. For more than a decade, leading participants in the world’s chocolate and cocoa industry have supported a global effort to improve the lives of millions of adults and children in cocoa communities. Industry programs have already made a difference to over a million vulnerable children in West Africa. Programs focus on:
- Increasing access to education (building schools, training teachers)
- Educating cocoa farmers on unacceptable labour practices
- Improving agricultural practices to ensure better yields and therefore better income for farmers.
The Harkin-Engel Protocol has been an important catalyst for change in labor practices in the cocoa sector of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, although we recognize there is still more to be done. Building on the lessons learned over the past decade, the Framework of Action in support of the Harkin-Engel Protocol underlines all parties’ shared responsibility in achieving a significant reduction of the worst forms of child labor in the cocoa growing areas and improving the lives of children and adults in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. Working together, industry, the U.S. government and the governments of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, have a common purpose and clear goal of bringing about an aggregate 70 percent reduction in the worst forms of child labor in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana by 2020.
Towards this end, the industry has already undertaken extensive efforts to bring about positive and sustainable change to the way cocoa is grown and harvested in West Africa. This includes:
- Investment: the industry has spent more than US$75 million on education, farmer training, agricultural improvement programs, health programs and more. Industry has also committed $7 million to further the goals of the Framework of Action. This industry partnership includes the participation of ADM, Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Ferrero, The Hershey Company, Kraft Foods, Mars Incorporated, and Nestlé
- National Plans of Action: working with Governments in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana to develop programs to improve social programs in cocoa growing communities.
- The creation of independent nongovernmental organizations to bring about sustainable change to the way cocoa is grown. These include:
- Public Certification: development of a public certification process as part of the Harkin-Engel Protocol
- Partnerships with Governments and non-governmental organizations.
- Regional Trade Associations and their memberships