The Plan enables farmers to run profitable farms and enables the company to source good quality, sustainable cocoa for its products. Crucially, it also improves social conditions in farming communities.
Nestlé has a zero-tolerance attitude towards child labour in its supply chain, and has already built 42 government-run schools with places for thousands of kids and young people to address the problem.
But classrooms alone aren’t enough. Nestlé also builds staff accommodation to attract good teachers to rural communities, which in turn encourages parents to send their kids to school. It also constructs segregated toilets, which are vital to attract and retain female pupils, and canteens to serve hot food.
Building schools does work
Nick Weatherill, Executive Director of International Cocoa Initiative, an organisation that promotes child protection in cocoa communities, insists that well-built schools do help in the fight against child labor.
“If there’s no school in a community, then there’s no real alternative for kids. Since their parents are hardly going to let them sit at home doing nothing, the likelihood of them working on the farm is therefore higher. So building one is an essential part of the response.”