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Responsible labor practices

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Engaging with cocoa farming communities to protect children – Barry Callebaut, together with other industry members, civil society organizations and governments, is working with local communities in the global effort to eliminate the worst forms of child labor and forced adult labor in the cocoa sector. While much work remains to be done, progress is being made.

About 70% of the world’s cocoa crop comes from West Africa. Cocoa is grown on some 2 million small family farms. Most family members including children usually help out from time to time. This is part of the agricultural tradition in West Africa, as in other countries around the world. Abusive, dangerous or inappropriate work that may harm a child’s development, however, can never be condoned.

At Barry Callebaut, we support and respect the principles set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We strongly condemn slavery and abusive labor practices including any form of child slavery or practices that exploit children or expose them to harmful or hazardous conditions.

As a signer of the Cocoa Industry Protocol in September 2001, we underscored our commitment as an industry member to work to support the eventual elimination of the worst forms of child and forced adult labor in cocoa growing, in partnership with governments, business and civil society.

Barry Callebaut does not own any cocoa farms or plantations. We typically buy cocoa beans from farmer organizations or intermediaries and process them in our factories. However, we believe that protecting children is the shared responsibility of all parties in the cocoa value chain. In our programs where we work directly with farmer organizations and their farmer members, we have integrated child labor sensitization activities and we ask our business partners for their commitment to upholding our labor standards and policies.


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