Standing up for people’s rights in Central and West Africa

Dec 9, 2016


Standing up for people’s rights in Central and West Africa

The rights of thousands of people in the workplace, marketplace and community are fully supported and reinforced by Nestlé in Central and West Africa.

In the region, each country has its own diverse cultural rules and differences that are constantly changing due to complex governing regulations, which are enforced or form part of local traditions. 

Nestlé not only has to follow these national laws and international standards, it also actively backs and upholds them.

From the farmers the company works with, to the scientists who drive its research and development, and to the sales people who sell its products to consumers across the region, Nestlé aims to offer each one of them across its supply chain good working conditions, while keeping them safe, healthy and engaged.

The company’s efforts mark the importance of the United Nations’ annual Human Rights Day on December 10. This year, the worldwide event calls on everyone to stand up for someone’s rights.

Tackling child labour

Nestlé is helping to do this by uniting against all forms of child exploitation and is totally committed to prevent and eliminate child labour from its supply chain.

In 2012, Nestlé was the first company in the food industry to become an affiliate partner of the Fair Labor Association (FLA). 

In response to the FLA’s report that mapped its cocoa supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire, Nestlé drew up the Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) with the International Cocoa Initiative

Nestlé worked with community liaison officers chosen by local communities to gather data on whether child labour is evident. 

So far, there are 687 of these officers in the country that report to 40 cooperative child labour agents who help reinforce the system when needed. 

Last year, the company completed action plans to reduce child labour in its cocoa supply chain in Cote d’Ivoire with 44,600 farmers and 120,000 community members sensitized on child labour practices. It also built and renovated 42 schools to help children go to school. 

Nestlé included about 80% of cooperatives in the CLMRS and aims to increase this to 100% in 2016.

Empowering women

The company is helping to stand up for women’s rights too, particularly in cocoa communities in Côte d’Ivoire.

It launched the ‘Nestlé Action Plan on Women in the Cocoa Supply Chain’ in 2013, as part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan

Nestlé and the FLA organised gender awareness trainings in 29 cooperatives to create opportunities and increase independence for women. This will be extended to all coops by 2017.

Last year, the percentage of women running Nestlé Cocoa Plan nurseries increased to 27%, rising by nine-fold since 2013. 

Agathe Vanié, a mother-of-three, is just one of the hundreds of female farmers that heads one of these cooperatives.

Her organisation, the Association of Female Coffee-Cocoa Producers of Sud-Bandama (AFPCC), is based in Divo in central-western Côte d'Ivoire, and mainly composed of, and led by women.

In 2010, her cooperative joined the Nestlé Cocoa Plan. It is the first female-owned cooperative for cocoa and coffee production.

As part of the plan, a total of 66 women’s groups were also provided with support and assistance on income generating activities to help send their children to school.