Despite significant progress, child labour still occurs in the cocoa supply chain, often as a result of social and economic challenges like migration, poverty or lack of infrastructure. If there is no school nearby or parents cannot afford school fees, children can be kept at home to work on family farms and support household incomes.
Addressing these challenges requires collective action at the individual, community and national level. That is why we are partnering with the Ivorian government, key chocolate manufacturers, cocoa processors and the Jacobs Foundation in a new initiative to promote effective learning at scale in Côte d’Ivoire and tackle the root causes of child labour.
Together, we are funding the Child Learning and Educational Facility (CLEF), which aims to provide quality education for five million children and positively impact the behaviour of 10 million parents in cocoa growing communities by 2030. It will do this through measures including the construction of 2,500 classrooms and other educational facilities.
The CLEF partnership will enable us to help support a better future for cocoa farmers’ children. It is very much aligned to Cocoa Compass, Olam Cocoa’s sustainability ambition for the future of the sector, in which we have committed to 100% child labour monitoring across our global direct supply chain by the end of this year and to eradicate child labour entirely by 2030. This initiative will directly facilitate the goal of all children of cocoa farmers in our direct cocoa supply chain having access to education.
As part of this, we are rolling out child labour monitoring and remediation systems across all our direct sourcing areas, working with organisations like the Fair Labor Association. We’ve introduced a new app so community leads can begin collecting social data, making it possible to identify children who are at high risk and respond much more quickly.
This includes measures like establishing birth certificates so children can attend secondary school or building classrooms for easier access to education. In order to tackle the poverty that often sits behind child labour, we are empowering communities to set up Village Savings and Loans Associations, enabling families to secure better lives for their children.
We are very proud that we can now come together with our government and industry partners, as well as the Jacobs Foundation, to build a more positive future for millions of children in Côte d’Ivoire. As an industry we must continue to work together and at scale to give this generation the opportunities that many of their parents could only have dreamed of.