The Nestlé Cocoa Plan has had to adapt many activities due to the pandemic and lockdowns:
- We stopped group activities and field visits to protect communities.
- We used digital means of communication wherever possible to keep in contact with cooperatives and continue to support key people involved in the implementation of our programs
- We donated almost 8000 hand sanitizers and face masks, as well as hand washing kits, to cooperatives and communities in our supply chain
- Together with our partners we set up COVID awareness raising sessions which reached over 60,000 people
- Within our child labour monitoring and remediation system, we were able to continue household visits as these were carried out by local people respecting social distancing, but had to cease remediation activities for a few months. ICI used systems such as ours to report on changes in the risk of child labour over the period
- We used digital means to communicate with pruning groups so they could continue this critical activity while respecting social distancing
- Shade tree distribution was managed remotely with the cooperatives maintaining the nurseries and organising the transport
Re-starting work cautiously
Since the full lockdowns have been relaxed we have been able to cautiously re-start some work, taking precautions on social distancing and adapting activities appropriately
- Reducing group sizes
- Replacing group training with individual training
Inevitably there will be delays to programmes and some work pushed to 2021.
We are very grateful to all our partners such as International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) and our suppliers such as Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Ecom, ETG, Olam, Sucden and Touton for adapting to the situation and helping the farmers and communities.
In May Nestlé donated 2 ventilators to the Tropical Disease Service at Treichvile University Hospital in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire to help assist critical COVID-19 patients. To contextualise the donation at the time it was made, just four were already available in the country – with the government having ordered a further 18. In addition, 10 automatic hospital beds, as well as gowns and surgical masks to protect medical staff were offered. We also donated 10m CHF to the IFRC for use globally, and contributed to WCF’s donation to cocoa producing countries.
Darrell High, Head of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan said, “The situation remains complex, evolving and variable from region to region. We will continue to promote hygiene measures and social distancing, whilst scaling up our sustainability activities where it is safe to do so.”