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International Cocoa Initiative


Barry Callebaut is a board member of the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), a foundation established under the Cocoa Industry Protocol (Harkin-Engel Protocol).

International Cocoa Initiative

ICI is a unique partnership of concerned companies, labor unions and NGOs. It works to help sensitize communities in West Africa on issues of child labor, hazardous work practices and international laws, through its local NGO partners.

As an industry member of ICI, Barry Callebaut helps fund the delivery of child labor sensitization programs and other education and community-based activities in Ivory Coast and Ghana, the largest producers of cocoa in West Africa. These two countries were the main focus of the action steps set forth in the Cocoa Industry Protocol. 

Together with other cocoa and chocolate companies, NGOs and the governments of West Africa, Barry Callebaut signed the Harkin-Engel Protocol and thereby underscored our commitment to work to eradicate the worst forms of child labor in the cocoa sector. A key partner in this effort is the International Cocoa Initiative. ICI is currently working in 259 communities with a total population of 830,000 in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. Barry Callebaut also works directly with ICI on programs for members of our Quality Partner Program. 

ICI is guided by international standards, in particular ILO Conventions 182 (Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention, 1999) and 29 (Forced Labor Convention, 1930). The International Labor Organization (ILO) is an advisor to the ICI Board. 

Demonstrating progress, though much remains to be done 

ICI works with local communities as well as local authorities to foster understanding of how children can be injured by, for example, doing inappropriate work, carrying heavy loads, or being exposed to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Through its network of on-the-ground partners, at year-end2011 ICI was active in 293 cocoa growing communities in Ivory Coast and Ghana, up from 24 in 2004. It is reaching an estimated total population of 689,000. These communities represent just a small fraction of the cocoa sector in West Africa, and much work remains to be done.

For more information:
Information on the International Cocoa Initiative  
Statistics on ICI's Community-driven action
Information from the European chocolate and cocoa industry
Information from the National Confectioners Association on responsible cocoa growing