Cargill, in partnership with CNS, opens eight new schools in Côte d'Ivoire.
January 27, 2022
Abidjan, CÔTE D'IVOIRE (27 January 2022) - As part of the National Plan of Action against child labor led by the CNS (National Committee for Monitoring Actions against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labor), Cargill is continuing its efforts to strengthen cocoa-producing communities by investing in education and child labor prevention. Today, they are inaugurating eight community schools* in Côte d'Ivoire, which are expected to provide access to education for more than 2,000 children.
To mark the occasion, Cargill organized an inauguration ceremony at one of the schools, located near the SOCAAN cocoa growing cooperative in Yakassé Mé, in the Adzopé region. Under the aegis of the First Lady of Côte d'Ivoire Dominique Ouattara, President of the CNS and a leading figure in children's right to education, several Ivorian government officials attended the official handover of the school to local community leaders.
"Schools like these are critical to creating thriving cocoa communities, as they are where the next generation of community leaders, entrepreneurs and professional farmers will be trained," said Lionel Soulard, Cargill's Managing Director in West Africa. "By working in partnership with CNS for a truly sustainable cocoa sector, we are securing the future of cocoa by improving the livelihoods and well-being of cocoa farmers, their families and their communities."
In addition to the school construction initiative, Patricia Sylvie Yao, on behalf of the CNS, also announced a new national campaign to raise awareness of the importance of education, the prevention of child labor, and the need to obtain birth certificates, a key identity document often required for children to continue their education. To date, Cargill and its partners have helped obtain 45,000 birth certificates.
"While it may seem like a small thing, this piece of paper represents an opportunity for children - the opportunity to go to school when they are young and the opportunity for a job when they are older," Soulard explained. "We fully support this campaign, which is part of NSC's ongoing efforts to provide all children with access to education, and we will continue to partner with agencies and other stakeholders to help provide a brighter future for the nation's youngest citizens."
Since 2014, Cargill has built 40 schools in collaboration with its technical implementation partners ICI and CARE, its customers, government agencies and local cocoa growing cooperatives. An additional 11 schools were built in partnership with the Coffee-Cocoa Council, co-funded by Cargill's partner cooperatives.
These initiatives demonstrate Cargill's commitment to addressing the root causes of child labor and expanding educational opportunities in Côte d'Ivoire. They are also part of Cargill's broader vision to build a more sustainable cocoa sector. Through its Cargill Cocoa Promise program, the company seeks to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and their communities by implementing community-based programs to strengthen women's economic opportunities, increase access to education and improve health and nutrition. In Côte d'Ivoire, this includes the creation of 38 child protection committees, the construction of more than 100 community infrastructures, such as boreholes and schools, and the creation of 316 village savings and loan associations to give women entrepreneurs access to credit and other essential financial tools.
*Yakassé Mé (Adzopé), Loafla (Marahoue), Ouarebota (Marahoue), Bolouguhe (Haut Sassandra), Leonkro (Haut Sassandra), Kambelesso (Haut Sassandra), Lolinzo (Haut Sassandra), Brou N'Guessan (Nawa)
Contact: Nicole Marlor, [email protected]
Sophie Hamdad, [email protected], +225 05 54 442060
About the CNS
The CNS (National Committee for Monitoring Actions against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labor) was created on November 3, 2011. It is chaired by the First Lady of Côte d'Ivoire, Mrs. Dominique OUATTARA. The mission of the CNS is to monitor and evaluate the actions of the Government in the fight against trafficking, exploitation and child labor.
As such, it is responsible for monitoring the implementation of governmental projects and programs in the fight against trafficking, exploitation and child labor; monitoring the application of conventions in the fight against trafficking, exploitation and child labor; to initiate preventive actions against trafficking, exploitation and child labor; to make proposals to the government for the abolition of child labor; to propose measures for the care of child victims of the worst forms of child labor; to contribute to the educational and professional reintegration of child workers.
As part of its missions, the CNS and all its partners have developed and implemented since 2012, three successive National Action Plans, to operationalize the objectives of Côte d'Ivoire in the fight against trafficking, exploitation and child labor.
These National Action Plans organize the fight against child labor around four strategic axes: prevention of the phenomenon, protection of child victims, prosecution and repression of child traffickers, coordination and monitoring and evaluation of actions.
Cargill's 155,000 employees in 70 countries work tirelessly to achieve our goal of feeding the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers and markets, customers and ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive.
We combine 155 years of experience with new technologies and ideas to serve as a trusted partner to customers in the food, agriculture, financial and industrial sectors in more than 125 countries. Side by side, we are building a stronger, more sustainable future for agriculture. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our news center.
About Cargill in Côte d'Ivoire
Cargill has been present in Côte d'Ivoire since 1998 and employs 870 people in four sites: Abidjan, Daloa and San Pedro. Our network of buying stations, sales, sustainability and crop research teams work closely with cocoa farmers and communities to source locally grown beans for our state-of-the-art processing plant, which produces cocoa products for food and confectionery customers around the world. In addition, we purchase and market cotton from the Ivory Coast and neighboring markets in West Africa.
About Cargill's global cocoa and chocolate business
Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate delivers high-quality cocoa and chocolate in a more sustainable manner around the world and provides our customers with peace of mind, integrity and excitement. Through balanced efforts in security of supply, sustainability initiatives and sensory expertise, we create a wide range of exceptional products and services, both standardized and customized. In addition, we provide our customers with in-depth market knowledge. We are developing a robust, fair and transparent supply chain, from grain to bar, committed to continuously shaping industry standards. To ensure a more sustainable supply of quality cocoa beans, Cargill has established its own sourcing and trading operations in Brazil, Ecuador, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia. Our Cargill Cocoa Promise underscores our commitment to enabling farmers and their communities to improve their incomes and living standards. Our team of 4,4000 passionate people
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places particular emphasis on working alongside poor girls and women because, given the right resources, they have the power to lift entire families and communities out of poverty. In 2020, CARE worked in more than 100 countries, reaching more than 90 million people through 1,300 projects. To learn more, visit www.care.org.
In 2000, CARE began operating in Côte d'Ivoire as part of a regional AIDS initiative. After the socio-political crisis of 2002, CARE Côte d'Ivoire was a major player in the humanitarian response, ensuring social cohesion, health, education, literacy, and especially governance and empowerment of women and girls. CARE currently works with more than 20 partners to help vulnerable women and girls living in rural and peri-urban areas overcome poverty, contributing to sustainable economic development through more gender-equitable approaches. CARE works with beneficiaries, civil society organizations, humanitarian associations and networks, government, community associations and the increasingly socially engaged private sector. Since 2015, CARE Côte d'Ivoire has reached over 1,230,000 people through its initiatives.
The ICI Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Switzerland that works to ensure a better future for children in cocoa-producing communities. It is a multi-stakeholder partnership committed to the elimination of child and forced labor by joining forces with the cocoa and chocolate industry, civil society, cocoa producing communities and governments, and donors.