As part of the 2018-2019 due diligence cycle, the FLA and Nestlé agreed to conduct a detailed evaluation of Nestlé’s Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) to assess its perceived impact. In the social impact assessment, the FLA collected primary information to evaluate whether the cocoa farmers, workers, and their families have benefited from the CLMRS interventions, including data on their perception of whether and how CLMRS interventions are impacting child labor.
To collect data, the FLA team visited nine communities supplying cocoa to four cooperatives during March and April of 2019. During that time the FLA interviewed 380 people to obtain their perceptions of the CLMRS.
- Child labor data monitoring and transparency are improving
- Awareness of legal minimum working age is high but is lacking on specifics of light and hazardous work
- More producers say they regularly send their children to school
- More adults are filling labor gaps
- Higher family income (especially for women) appears to result in higher school attendance
Feedback from community members
- Men and women interviewed in the communities spoke favorably of the results of CLMRS.
- Men expressed a higher satisfaction level, possibly because they believe the educational support provided through the CLMRS is helping them to meet their family responsibilities.
- Eighty percent of women consider CLMRS successful, including 15 percent who rated it very useful.
- Ninety-two percent of cocoa producers surveyed believe that the dissemination of social programs through the CLMRS has been strong.
Nestlé should continue its efforts and, through dialogue with its partners, develop a strategy to strengthen cooperatives and communities to self-sustain the interventions introduced through the CLMRS.
Reflections from the FLA
“We are keenly aware of how difficult it is to address a persistent and systemic issue like child labor. Our research on Nestle’s cocoa supply chain in Cote d’Ivoire sheds light both on the root causes of child labor and confirms Nestle’s investment in monitoring and remediation. There’s no easy answer, but this report expands our understanding of how sustainable, community-based interventions are driving awareness of child labor, and creating environments that promote school participation and adult workforce participation— both important activities that can lead to the reduction of child labor.”
— Sharon Waxman, FLA President & CEO
We are pleased that FLA recognizes the progress we have made on the key areas of transparency, awareness raising, school attendance, adult worker availability and income generating activities. The FLA also notes the benefits of our various remediation strategies. We are pleased to report that we are extending our activities in these areas.
We will continue helping families access education and increasing the quality of available education. We are continuing with bridging classes (which help children who have dropped out of school re- integrate into the school system), through extending our collaboration with the Jacobs Foundation’s Transforming Education in Ivory Coast (TRECC) program for a further two years and financing an additional 32 classes.
In addition, we have recently joined the Child Learning and Education Facility (CLEF) coalition to boost quality education in rural communities in Côte d'Ivoire. The CLEF coalition is a pooled financing facility of up to 125 million CHF, and the first public-private partnership focused on scaling investments for quality education in Côte d'Ivoire.
Child labor is not an issue to be tackled in isolation. Its causes are intertwined with other issues, such as poverty, gender inequality and deforestation. We continue to tackle these both in our own supply chain and in partnership with other stakeholders on a landscape basis. Our work in the Cocoa & Forests Initiative, our partnership with the government of Côte d’Ivoire and Earthworm Foundation on the conservation and restoration of the Cavally forest, our co-operation with the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) on income pilots and our support to the International Cocoa Initiative’s 2021-26 strategy are some examples.
Finally, we remain committed to be transparent about the way we tackle child labor in our cocoa supply chain, the progress we make and the challenges that we face. We will continue to report on the progress of our CLMRS, share our learnings and invite others to do the same.