While it is not unusual for children in agrarian states to help their parents out on the farm, Barry Callebaut strongly condemns forced labor, child slavery and all practices that exploit children or expose them to harmful or hazardous conditions.
The problem of child labor in West Africa is a complex issue. Many children work because their survival and that of their families depend on it. Child labor is an indicator of poverty and a low level of rural development. We firmly believe that improving cocoa farmer livelihoods is imperative in the fight against poverty because poverty is the main reason why farmers resort to abusive labor practices. Barry Callebaut has thus been actively engaged in programs for a better livelihood for cocoa farmers and the elimination of abusive child labor practices in the cocoa-growing countries of West Africa for many years.
We are present in a number of cocoa growing countries. In all our sites we strictly adhere to local laws regarding minimum age and other terms of employment. The minimum age for employment at Barry Callebaut is in accordance with the ILO Convention or the age specified by local legislation if higher.