Recent studies show, that roughly 2 million children are engaged in hazardous labour on cocoa plantations, primarily in West Africa.
Poverty – the basic cause
The main cause of child labour is poverty. Chocolats Halba therefore sources cocoa beans exclusively from Fairtrade-certified cooperatives and also supports reforestation projects. We believe this is one way of improving the incomes of smallhold farmers effectively. In Ghana, where child labour is a well-known problem, we also provide financial support to our partners each year to fund their measures to eliminate child labour.
In collaboration with local authorities and the Fairtrade Labelling Organization (FLO) and under the patronage of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative initiated an anti-child labour programme. The project's main areas of activity are an awareness programme and a monitoring system to ensure that farmers are not using child labour. Chocolats Halba provides annual financial support to the programme and regularly monitors its activities on the ground.
Unfortunately, it will take some time for the worst types of child labour to be completely eradicated from the cocoa industry. The chocolate industry shares a big responsibility in this issue. Chocolats Halba will continue to face up to these problems.