In the cocoa-growing families of Côte d’Ivoire, it is men who usually own the land and access revenues from cocoa sales, while women work on the farm and are responsible for childcare.
Nestlé – with our partners Cocoanect, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Beyond Beans – are helping to empower women in cocoa production to increase their incomes, which will benefit households and families including children.
We are working towards this by strengthening the position of a number of women-led cooperatives in the cocoa supply chain. These cooperatives play a vital role in increasing their members’ incomes and enabling social engagement.
Our goals are to double female membership of participating cooperatives; provide members with a small amount of working capital (through Village Savings and Loans Associations – VSLAs – which allow women to diversify their activities); and give access to training and equipment which will provide new income-generating opportunities.
The results to date are encouraging:
• Over 800 women from 10 cocoa growing communities have developed action plans to start or expand income-generating activities through our Gender Action Learning Methodology (GALS)
• 21 VSLAs are established and operational, enabling their 806 female members to increase their incomes and obtain loans
• Four women-led cooperatives have developed business plans for activities beyond cocoa production, and have received training in organisational development
• 4070 farmers in 10 cooperatives were trained in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and were encouraged to provide women with access to training, services and production resources
• 12 new female jobs have been created in cooperative societies
• At least 3,000 producers now benefit from better working conditions and an average increase in income of nearly 20%
We will continue to increase the resilience of smallholder households, and ensure that women have the opportunity to play a role in increasing both cocoa and other diversified incomes.
We must also thank the Fair Labor Association – an international non-profit organisation that has been a key partner in the implementation of the Gender Action Learning and Village Loan and Saving Associations.