Nestlé UK Contributes to Eliminate Child Labor in Côte D’Ivoire

On 11th and 12th November 2013, Nestlé Côte d’Ivoire handed over new educational facilities sponsored by its sister company, Nestlé UK, to underserved communities in that country. This initiative is also part of the objectives of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, which consists of fighting against child labor while improving livelihood in cocoa growing communities.

The projects, undertaken as part of Nestlé UK’s Schools Projects, were implemented in partnership with the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), with four villages receiving various educational facilities to boost access and quality of educational delivery in the communities in which they are sourcing cocoa.

At least 350 children in the Koffikro-Jerusalem, Kobouo, Yobouékro and Brabodougou villages, all cocoa growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire, will benefit from the facilities meant to enhance formal education acquisition.

Supporting kids education

The communities received various new education infrastructures, including a 3-classroom block equipped with school benches. In addition, 3 two-bedroom houses for their teaching staff plus 1 water access point and school kits have been offered. The company also rehabilitated a village’s kindergarten classroom block.

The project has been implemented by International Cocoa Initiative, one of Nestlé’s partner in child labor’s action plan.

The representatives of national office of Fairtrade, as well as local authorities attended the inauguration ceremony. Also present were the representatives of the Mayor, the departments of Education and Agriculture, the departmental Economic and Social Council, and the Ministry of Solidarity and Social Affairs.

Result of strong collaboration

The projects were financed by Nestlé UK, the result of fruitful collaboration between the cooperatives COOPADEF and COOPRADI from which Nestlé UK sources its cocoa. Both cooperatives are part of the Fairtrade certification process.

ICI’s partnership with Nestlé goes beyond the schools project with Nestlé UK. As part of Nestlé’s Cocoa Plan in Côte d’Ivoire, the Group mandated ICI to conduct a child labour monitoring and remediation programme, which tackles the issue through cooperatives and communities sensitization and capacity building sessions, as well as the implementation of a monitoring and remediation system. To ensure a holistic approach to resolving the child labour issue, Nestlé is also committed through the Cocoa Plan to build 40 schools by 2016 in the cocoa producing communities.

Fleur Tchibota-Hamza, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager of Nestlé Côte d’Ivoire, explained the rationale for the support:

“Children are meant to be at school since it is the best way to give them a chance to a better future for themselves and their people. Nestlé is committed to helping farmers send their children to school, thereby eradicating child labour from our cocoa supply chain. That is the reason why Nestlé will continue to invest in providing better access to education in rural communities as education is the key pillar in the development of any nation”.