Last Updated: December 20, 2013Topic: Responsible Labor Practices in Cocoa Growing
The U.S. chocolate and cocoa industry seeks to ensure cocoa is grown in a responsible, sustainable manner.
NCA, as well as the entire global chocolate community, believes that no child should be harmed in the growing or harvesting of cocoa. In West Africa, 90% of cocoa is grown on small family farms. In Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana there are over 1.5 million cocoa farming families living in some of the most remote parts of these countries who depend on cocoa for their livelihood.
Working with labor experts, non-governmental organizations, and elected officials, in 2001 the chocolate and cocoa industry developed an agreement, known today as the “Protocol,” to ensure that cocoa is grown responsibly, without the worst forms of child labor or forced adult labor as defined by the International Labor Organization’s Conventions 182 and 29. The Protocol outlines a number of steps to address the issue – including the development of a “certification” system for cocoa farming. Certification for cocoa farming is an ongoing program that will drive positive change in cocoa communities with a focus on repsonsible labor practices.
Chocolate and cocoa companies worldwide are committed to investment and improvement in cocoa communities around the world.