Child labor in the cocoa chain

19th December 2019
-News, IAM

Daniel Pfund, Senior Financial Analyst

According to a study published in 2018 by Cocoa Barometer, there are an estimated 2.1 million children working on cocoa plantations in West Africa (mainly in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana). As major cocoa consumers, Barry Callebaut and Nestlé are actively engaged in the fight against child labor. For example, Nestlé has identified 18,000 children directly affected in their suppliers’ plantations already from 2012. Now, Nestlé reports that 55% of these children are no longer working there, and have returned to an education program.

The key to success is to provide greater access to education, as well as a decent price for farmers, and possibly other sources of income. Nestlé was one of the first companies to agree to buy cocoa with an additional $400/ton to support the “Living Income Differential” program to help cocoa farmers and their families.