Nestlé has pledged to redouble its efforts to improve the lives of women in cocoa communities in Côte d’Ivoire, from where it sources much of the cocoa for its chocolate.
“Women need a voice and we need not only to listen, but to amplify their voices to help them be heard,” said Sandra Martinez, Nestlé’s Senior Vice-President for Global Confectionery.
“We have worked with women like Agathe Vanie, the President of a Co-operative working for women’s rights since 2009,” she said, referring to the woman who features in the video above.
“Meeting women like her gives me hope that we can make great progress. This action plan for women in Côte d’Ivoire cocoa communities will help us achieve what is at the core of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.’
The action plan (pdf, 550 Kb) follows the publication today of an independent report by the Fair Labor Association assessing women’s roles in the supply chain in cocoa communities that are part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan initiative.
The Nestlé Cocoa Plan seeks to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and the quality of their crops and to tackle low productivity and child labour.
Nestlé’s new action plan for women in Côte d’Ivoire will include training sessions on gender issues for all the co-operatives in the country that are part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan. There will also be initiatives to increase women’s income so that they can afford to send their children to school, as well as the creation of local women’s associations to provide support and assistance.
The new action plan builds upon earlier Nestlé initiatives to support women in the cocoa supply chain. Nestlé believes that women empowered with more life opportunities, know-how and skills play a vital role in raising healthier families and in leading to more children going to school, rather than working on the family’s cocoa farms.
Nestlé has published a progress report (pdf, 2 Mb) reflecting actions taken since August 2014.