ACCRA, Ghana, — Nestlé announced a new plan to tackle child labor risks in cocoa production.
At the center is an innovative income accelerator program, which aims to improve the livelihoods of cocoa-farming families, while also advancing regenerative agriculture practices and gender equality.
A cash incentive will be paid directly to cocoa-farming households for certain activities such as enrollment of children in school and pruning among several others.
Nestlé’s new plan, according to a statement sent to The Union Nigeria, also supports the company’s work to transform its global sourcing of cocoa to achieve full traceability and segregation for its cocoa products.
As Nestlé continues to expand its cocoa sustainability efforts, the company plans to invest a total of CHF 1.3 billion by 2030, more than tripling its current annual investment.
According to Mauricio Alarcon, Market Head of Nestlé Central and West Africa, “Child Labor is unacceptable. We are committed to working closely with key stakeholders to ensure that this novel approach will help address its root causes and support farmers and their families to transition to more sustainable cocoa farming in communities where we operate.
“Through this new plan, we will extend our cocoa sustainability initiatives to other parts of Central and West Africa”.
The incentives will encourage behaviors and agricultural practices that are designed to steadily build social and economic resilience over time.
With Nestlé’s new approach, cocoa-farming families will now be rewarded not only for the quantity and quality of cocoa beans they produce but also for the benefits they provide to the environment and local communities.
These incentives are on top of the premium introduced by the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana that Nestlé pays and the premiums Nestlé offers for certified cocoa.
This cocoa is independently audited against the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard, promoting the social, economic and environmental well-being of farmers and local communities.