Nestlé, the world’s largest food and drink company has unveiled a major plan to advance sustainability and tackle child labor risks in cocoa production. It will invest €1.25 billion by 2030, more than tripling its current annual investment, this new effort will help transform the supply chain of Nestlé and the broader industry.
The plan is centered around an innovative income accelerator program which aims to improve the livelihoods of cocoa-farming families in Africa, while also advancing regenerative agriculture practices and gender equality. Nestlé’s new plan also supports the company’s work to transform its global sourcing of cocoa to achieve full traceability and segregation for its cocoa products.
Speaking on the announcement, Nestlé’s CEO Mark Schneider said: “We believe that, together with governments, NGOs and others in the cocoa industry, we can help improve the lives of cocoa-farming families and give children the chance to learn and grow in the safe and healthy environment they deserve”.
In an effort to tackle child labour risks, the programme will see a cash incentive of up to €474 a year for the first two years paid directly to households involved in cocoa farming for certain activities such as enrolling their children in school. After the first two years, the funding will drop to €237 a year and continue at this rate. With Nestlé’s new approach, cocoa-farming families will now be rewarded not only for the quantity and quality of cocoa beans they produce but also for the benefits they provide to the environment and local communities. These incentives are on top of the premium introduced by the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana that Nestlé pays, and the premiums Nestlé offers for certified cocoa.