The Role of Origin Governments
The chocolate and cocoa industry works closely in partnership with West African governments, NGOs and labor experts to promote economic and social development in cocoa farming communities.
Government National Plans of Action
The national governments of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana have developed and publicly disseminated their own national action plans to address the issue of child labor in cocoa production, and have made considerable progress toward their stated goals. For more information on national plans, visit country sites for Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.
Both governments have conducted sector wide surveys, published the results, and submitted for independent verification to ensure the validity of the data reported. Both governments have also developed and are executing remediation plans at the community level.
Surveys and Certification
Over the past decade, multiple surveys have been undertaken. The surveys from both countries provide a comprehensive assessment of labor conditions in the cocoa sector.
The results identified issues relating to labor practices and initial reports included evidence of the worst forms of child labor (WFCL). These surveys provided information for the Governments in each country to develop National Plans to address the issues. In an effort to be fully transparent, both country surveys have been published by the Governments of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. Furthermore, the survey data have been independently verified by expert assessors, appointed by the International Cocoa Verification Board (ICVB), who reported that the survey findings were accurate.
Additionally, regular certification reports, issued by West African governments, provide a transparent view of labor conditions on cocoa farms. Programs to help children and cocoa farming families address the issues raised in the certification reports – and drive continual improvement. A robust, independent verification component will ensure the integrity of the certification process.
Even with these good efforts, there is still work to be done, and we will be continuing to work in our multi-stakeholder partnership to achieve lasting change.
The official website for the Government of Cote d’Ivoire’s program to address labor issues on cocoa farms: www.cacao.gouv.ci
The official website for the Government of Ghana’s program to address labor issues on cocoa farms: www.childprotection.gov.gh
For more than a decade, the global chocolate and cocoa industry and individual chocolate/cocoa processing companies have been working in partnership with Governments and Non-governmental organizations to bring about real and lasting change to cocoa farming practices in West Africa.
Together, we now have nearly 40 programs throughout West Africa that provide cocoa farming families and their communities with opportunities for economic development, improvements in labor practices and access to education.
Key partners include:
The ICI is an independent foundation aiming to address the worst forms of child labor and forced adult labor on cocoa farms in West Africa. Established in 2002, it works closely with producer governments to offer a real and sustainable solution to the worst forms of child labor and forced labor in the cocoa supply chain.
Supported by individual chocolate and cocoa companies, the ICI is led by a Board composed equally of industry and civil society (NGO) representatives. The International Labor Organization (ILO) is an advisor to the Board. The ICI is focussed exclusively in labor practices (and related issues) on cocoa farms and is the only foundation of its kind.
The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation founded in 2000 for the purpose of promoting social and economic development as well as environmental stewardship in cocoa-growing communities. The foundation is a membership-based organization with approximately 70 member companies involved in the cocoa and chocolate industries around the world, representing over 80% of the global market.
The WCF works through public-private partnerships that bring together donors, industry members, producing country governments, research institutes and non-governmental organizations to achieve its goals. The foundation supports programs that work with farmers on a pre-competitive basis, prior to sale or commercialization of their cocoa. In this way, the programs provide farmers with the skills they need to operate productive farms and make sound business decisions.
Partners with industry in these efforts include: Africare, CARE International, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GTZ, International Fund for Education and Self Help, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Winrock International, CARITAS, and Family Health International, among many others.