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Cocoa

Cocoa is used in many of our foods and beverages, and has always been one of our most important ingredients. The cocoa supply chain features serious challenges, from low incomes for farmers to child labor and gender inequalities. We are tackling these issues through implementing the Nestlé Cocoa Plan in our supply chain.

Sourcing cocoa responsibly

The Nestlé Cocoa Plan helps us to source cocoa sustainably, while tackling child labor, improving the lives of cocoa farmers and the quality of their products.

Our commitment

Roll out the Nestlé Cocoa Plan with cocoa farmers

Our main sources of cocoa

Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Venezuela.


Progress against our objectives

By 2018

Source 175 000 tonnes of cocoa through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.

Our result: 198 155 tonnes of cocoa sourced through Nestlé Cocoa Plan in 2018.

By 2020

Source 230 000 tonnes of cocoa through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.

We continue to work to broaden and strengthen the Nestlé Cocoa Plan to create impact for farmers and their communities.

The Nestlé Cocoa Plan

The Nestlé Cocoa Plan’s vision is to improve the lives of farmers in our cocoa supply chain.

The majority of cocoa farmers are smallholders with low productivity and incomes, living in poor communities, with depleted soils and older, less productive trees. They often resort to using their children for tasks that could be harmful to their physical or mental development and are therefore classified as child labor. Women in the cocoa supply chain are often under-rewarded for their work, or not given a voice in their communities.

The Plan is active in the main cocoa-producing countries, with the focus being on the world’s largest sources, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. In order to drive industry-wide transparency, we are making available the list of our direct suppliers (Tier 1) and their suppliers (Tier 2) in both Côte d’Ivoire (pdf, 490Kb) and Ghana (pdf, 350Kb).

The Plan operates across three key pillars:

  • Better farming, addressing challenges such as agricultural practices, rejuvenation of plantations and tackling deforestation.
  • Better lives, which seeks to empower women and eliminate child labor.
  • Better cocoa, which covers certification, and building long-term relationships in our supply chain.

Underlying all these activities are transparency and partnerships. We continued our work within the World Cocoa Foundation’s CocoaAction, the industry strategy for cocoa sustainability. We also developed our relationship with UTZ to extend their work from certification to field key performance indicator collection.

Supply chain challenges and solutions

This year, our purchase of cocoa beans exceeded 404,000 tonnes for the first time. We stopped sourcing from the Dominican Republic, as the brand that had used those beans has been sold. This means we will face a challenge in reaching our tonnage target in 2020.

Tackling child labor in our cocoa supply chain

In 2017, we published our first-ever report on child labor in our cocoa supply chain, Tackling Child Labour (pdf, 4Mb). The report sets out our approach to addressing this significant, complex and sensitive challenge.

Our main tool for addressing child labor is our Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS), which works with cocoa-growing communites to raise awareness of the issue, identify children who are engaged in labor and implement remediation activities. In 2018, the system continued to expand in both Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, covering more farmers and their children. The number of co-operatives has dipped as we lost some due to failed certification audits. We have continued to fund 21% of children surveyed participating in hazardous tasks in Côte d’Ivoire. The number of children we have helped has progressed well, with a further 11 130 assisted during 2018. Remediation measures included donations of equipment for school, such as notebooks, pens and pencils, the provision of birth certificates, and bridge schools, co-funded by the Jacobs Foundation.

The number of children recorded as no longer working in child labor is frustratingly low. It will be an important focus for us in 2019, together with our partners.

Key child labor performance indicators*

Activity KPIs Country 2016 2017 2018
Number of co-ops in Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) Côte d’Ivoire 69 95 89
Number of farmers covered by CLMRS Côte d’Ivoire 37,130 65,486 67,074
Farmers and community members who attended awareness-raising sessions Côte d’Ivoire 193,424 289,657 535,435
Cumulative total of schools built Côte d’Ivoire 42 43 45
Number of children remediated with educational activities Côte d’Ivoire N/A 11,060 19,072
Outcome indicators
Number and % of children participating in child labor Côte d’Ivoire 6,065
16%
11,891
 
17,590
21%
Number and % of child labor cases assisted Côte d’Ivoire 4,680
77%
6,346
 
11,130
63%
Number and % of child labor cases no longer in child labor Côte d’Ivoire 82
1.4%
477
3%
981
5.6%
Number of families of children identified in child labor benefiting from income-generating activities Côte d’Ivoire 1,305 N/A N/A
Volume of Nestlé Cocoa Plan cocoa (tonnes) Global 140,933 186,358 198,155
Nestlé Cocoa Plan cocoa as % of total Nestlé cocoa Global 34% 42.9% 49%
 

* All data is cumulative from the beginning of the project.

Read more about our commitment to improve workers’ livelihoods and protect children in our agricultural supply chain.

How our Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System works

The impact of our Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System

Our Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) is fully active in the Nestlé Cocoa Plan in Côte d’Ivoire and is being rolled out in Ghana. The assistance includes supporting activities that improve farmers’ incomes, and activities to help children return to or start school, including the provision of school kits and birth certificates. In particular, we have partnered with the Jacobs Foundation to improve education in disadvantaged communities and ensure children are learning basic literacy and math skills in community schools. This has so far benefited 981 children.

The system’s effectiveness was highlighted in an evaluation survey, which showed that in co-operatives where the system was set up between 2013 and 2015 a reduction in child labor of 51% was seen.

Using technology to help children access education

Within our child labor activities, we have developed Eneza, a project to promote the value of education in cocoa communities using innovative technology, and through this reduce child labor. Through the Eneza project, mobile phones are set up and children sent education content via SMS, including short summaries of national curriculum programs and offline access to Wikipedia and quizzes. Key features include a dedicated team to prepare content, provide administrative and technical support, and an on-the-ground presence to distribute materials. Thanks to Eneza, some 500 primary and secondary pupils in remote areas are now able to access educational material online.

The CLMRS is only sustainable if the farmer organizations can continue to drive the work using the premium they receive from the cocoa. Ensuring this transfer of responsibility is a particular challenge and a focus of our efforts.

The Fair Labor Assocation (FLA) continued its annual auditing of our Côte d’Ivoire supply chain, and its most recent report can be found on the FLA website.

Child labor is also found in our vanilla supply chain and is often the result of the labor-intensive nature of vanilla harvesting. We are working with growers and key partners to address this and provide remedies, such as better access to schools. Read more about what we’re doing in our vanilla supply chain to tackle child labor.

What we’re doing to combat deforestation

Nestlé is committed to eliminating deforestation from our supply chains by 2020. In 2017, we signed the Cocoa and Forests Initiative with the World Cocoa Foundation and the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Following this, we developed an action plan (pdf, 860Kb), including an aim to distribute 2.8 million shade trees in four years.


Find out more

Nestlé Cocoa Plan

Nestlé Cocoa Plan

Find out more about the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.


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