Working to help address labor issues in cocoa production
Cargill is concerned about the safety and well-being of children who may be involved in dangerous or forced work on cocoa farms and we are committed to working towards a cocoa supply chain where no children are subject to these conditions.
We share the view that it is essential to help target poverty, the root cause of labor problems. The Cargill Cocoa Promise is our global commitment to support the long-term future of sustainable cocoa production and to making a difference to the farmers and to the communities that rely on cocoa for their livelihoods.
As part of our Promise, we are working with the governments of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, industry partners, NGOs and local farming communities to make difference to the lives of cocoa farmers, to protect the rights of children and to support cocoa farming communities.
Rural education. Watch a video of how we are helping improve education in cocoa communities.
Supporting communities in partnership with CARE. In partnership with CARE we are supporting local communities in Côte d'Ivoire and helping boost educational opportunities and farmer incomes in Ghana
Improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their families
We are committed to providing essential support to farmers to make both existing, and future, generations of farmers successful by teaching them to adopt better farming practices to help improve yields, quality and incomes. By helping increase incomes we are enabling farmers and their families to improve their livelihoods, health and educational opportunities.
- Our network of over 1,250 farmer field schools are training over 75,000 farmers in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Cameroon in better farming practices to improve yields, bean quality and increase farmers’ incomes.
- As a result of our training, farmer cooperatives are achieving UTZ and Rainforest Alliance certification and the increased incomes are directly benefitting farmers and enabling cooperatives to build schools and invest in other projects in their local community.
- We are helping strengthen cooperatives to become more profitable and professional, providing financial and business assistance so they can support farmers and their local communities.
- For example, in Côte d'Ivoire we purchase over 80 percent of our beans from cooperatives and during the 2011/12 crop year, 26,500 Ivorian farmers across 43 UTZ and Rainforest Alliance certified cooperatives received premiums payments totaling U.S. $7.6 million.
Protecting the rights of children
We do not accept the use of illegal, abusive or enforced labor in any of our operations. Cargill does not own or operate farms but we are taking action to help tackle child labor and improve working practices in the cocoa supply chain.
- Our farming training includes a dedicated focus on addressing and raising awareness of child labor. We are working with the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) to implement best practices, which have been proven to help farmers identify tasks that may harm children and reduce the dangers for children on farms, such as using machetes, pesticides or carrying heavy loads. We encourage farmers to alert us if they believe children may be at risk.
- Our farming training is based on the codes of conduct of UTZ and Rainforest Alliance, which include explicit requirements that prohibit child labor based on International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions. These allow children only to help their parents outside school time for a limited number of hours; stipulate that children must not undertake work that jeopardizes their health and safety; and specify that children must always be accompanied by an adult relative.
- In addition to our own efforts we are actively supporting the actions of the ICI, the World Cocoa Foundation and the International Labour Organization to help combat child labor.
- If we are alerted to any child at risk, we will work with the local community to inform the management of the farmer cooperative and regional government officials so they can investigate and take any necessary actions.
- We have a dedicated team in place in Cote d’Ivoire to ensure consistent implementation of our child labor policies, coordinate our approach across all our activities and programs, and liaise with other stakeholders.
- All our employees in Côte d'Ivoire are being trained by the ICI to help them understand and identify children who may be at risk and we are working with our certified farmer cooperatives to improve processes to help address child labor.
Strengthening and supporting cocoa farming communities
We are committed to helping to improve living standards in local communities by focusing on increasing access to education and healthcare and to helping reduce poverty, which is a key driver of labor issues. We recognize helping cocoa farming communities cannot be achieved alone, which is why we are partnering with a range of organizations to make a positive and lasting difference.
- For the past 10 years, we have been working as part of the global cocoa and chocolate industry alongside governments, NGOs and international organizations to bring about positive and sustainable change to the way cocoa is grown and harvested in West Africa by investing in over 40 progra ms throughout the region.
- In partnership with CARE, Cargill is helping address the worst forms of child labor and improving access to education and healthcare amongst 140 rural cocoa farming communities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. We are improving access to education by renovating and building schools and providing basic services for at least 60,000 children.
- We are an active member of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and a participant and donor in programs including the Cocoa Livelihoods Program (CLP) and the African Cocoa Initiative (ACI) that are helping support farmers and improve living standards in farming communities across West Africa.
- We are helping strengthen cooperatives so they can support their farmers and enable them to invest to improve living standards in their local communities, such as building and renovating schools and improving access to clean, safe drinking water.
The Cargill Cocoa Promise underlines our company’s commitment to support a sustainable cocoa supply chain and to continue to work with a range of stakeholders to make a difference to the lives of cocoa farmers, to support cocoa farming communities and to improve the long-term sustainable production of cocoa.