The Nestlé Cocoa Plan
The Nestlé Cocoa Plan is active in Cote d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Ghana, Indonesia, Mexico and Venezuela.
The Nestlé Cocoa Plan aims to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and the quality of their products.
The three main pillars of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan are:
- Enabling farmers to run more profitable farms. This includes:
- Farmer training in better agricultural practices to increase yields and incomes
- New plantlets to help rejuvenate cocoa fields, and
- Rewarding farmers for high-quality cocoa.
- Improving social conditions. This includes:
- Eliminating child labour from our cocoa supply chain, and
- Promoting and facilitate school attendance.
- Sourcing sustainable, good quality cocoa. This includes:
- Developing a sustainable supply chain
- Ensuring long-term supply of good quality cocoa for our business
- Traceability down to farmer group, and
- Respecting the environment and avoiding deforestation.
To achieve these objectives, we work with partners such as UTZ Certified, Fairtrade, the Fair Labor Association, our suppliers, national plant research institutes and local training agencies and NGOs. We commit to openness and transparency of progress and reporting.
Tackling child labour in the supply chain – our partnership with the FLA
Tackling the issue of child labour in the agricultural supply chain is a specific requirement of our Supplier Code – and we want to make sure we do it properly. So in February 2012, we became the first company in the food industry to become an affiliate partner of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), a non-profit, multi-stakeholder organisation. We invited the FLA to help us examine our cocoa supply from Côte d’Ivoire. They sent a team of experts to undertake an assessment in January 2012. FLA’s report is published on the Fair Labor Association website, but its key conclusions were that:
- The Nestlé Cocoa Plan and our participation in other initiatives provide the building blocks for a deeper, more robust programme
- Enhanced monitoring and increased accountability from the various tiers of suppliers is a must to make the supply chain more sustainable, and that
- Child labour is still a reality on cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire and has its roots in a combination of factors. A realistic strategy to eliminate child labour in Côte d’Ivoire needs to start with the attitudes and perceptions of the various actors in the supply chain and communities at large. Large parts of the supply chain are shared with other industry actors. All parties should therefore combine forces in enhancing supply chain mapping and transparency, monitoring, and capacity building programmes.
The report included a number of recommendations to us, and we published an action plan (pdf, 451 Kb) in response.
The key recommendation was to set up a monitoring and remediation plan which we are undertaking with the help of the International Cocoa Initiative. Using the traceability of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, we will appoint a monitoring and remediation agent in each cooperative, and community liaison people from each community the cooperative buys from. The community liaisons will raise community awareness and report on progress, and the child labour agents will report back to us as well as our suppliers and be responsible for remediation. This will require careful selection and training of the key personnel at each stage of the supply chain.
To the best of our knowledge, we will be the first cocoa purchaser to set up such a system. It will give us unprecedented information about the conditions for our farmers and their children and an opportunity to help individuals directly and make real progress.
We began the project in two pilot cooperatives and will roll it out to a further six in 2013. We have trained 90 supplier and our personnel. We have also completed an illustrated Supplier Code, which is being distributed to more than 25,000 farmers.
We are working with our certification partners to incorporate this process into certification itself.
As part of Nestlé’s Action Plan of Response, a stakeholder consultation was held on 26 November 2012 in Abidjan organised by the Fair Labor Association, Nestlé and FLA's Global Forum for Sustainable Supply Chains. Read the report: Stakeholder consultation on addressing child labor in Nestlé's cocoa supply chain
We have also published an update on our progress (August 2013): Read more on the Cocoa Plan website
In 2012, we kicked off a four-year partnership with the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) to build or refurbish 40 schools in four years in Côte d’Ivoire. WCF completed the first ten in 2012. Outside this programme, we built two additional schools in Cote d’Ivoire and one in Ghana.
Globally, we trained more than 27,000 cocoa farmers in 2012, an increase of 8,000 compared to the previous year. We have used a variety of methods including farmer field schools and farmer business training.
Investing in plant research
Further research into, and distribution of, cocoa plants has a major impact on the ability of cocoa farmers to grow more, higher-quality crops over the long term and thus sustain a higher income.
In Côte d’Ivoire, our programme is the only one to propagate through seed, cuttings and accelerated propagation. We have built a 30 hectare experimental and demonstration farm near Yamoussoukro to serve as a farmer training academy and plant research and propagation centre.
Improving the supply chain
The journey from the cocoa bean to chocolate is typically long and complex, and improvements in the supply chain benefit both our business and the farmer co-operatives supplying us. In 2012, we purchased 46,000 tonnes of cocoa, through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, an increase of 19,000 tonnes from 2011. We also helped 14 cocoa cooperatives achieve UTZ or Fairtrade certification.