At Barry Callebaut, we recognize that our businesses have an influence on the livelihoods of many people around the world. We believe we have a responsibility to all our stakeholders – shareholders, customers, consumers, suppliers, farmers, employees and the communities where we operate – that goes beyond making a profit. We pay particular attention to conditions in cocoa-producing countries. We regard activities that help to empower cocoa farmers, for example, to be an important factor in ensuring a sustainable cocoa industry and facilitating the economic growth of cocoa-producing countries.
We focus our corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability activities on stakeholders along our value chain and on issues related to our business. Principles and guidelines for behavior for all Barry Callebaut employees including behavior related to our CSR and sustainability activities are set forth in our Barry Callebaut Code of Conduct. Our Code of Conduct is complemented by our corporate and local policies and regulations and applies to all Barry Callebaut employees worldwide.
Human rights, forced labor and child labor
Barry Callebaut observes the principles set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We strongly condemn forced labor, slavery and all practices that exploit children or expose them to harmful or hazardous conditions. Child labor as defined by the ILO refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children. We strictly adhere to local laws regarding minimum age and other terms of employment in our factories. The minimum age for employment at Barry Callebaut shall be in accordance with ILO Conventions or the age specified by local legislation if higher.
Sustainable and responsible farming and business practices
Barry Callebaut recognizes that farmers, particularly smallholders, in various regions of the world may face significant challenges in growing, harvesting and marketing their various crops. We strongly encourage adherence to sustainable agricultural practices. We expect fair and sound business practices to be followed by the farmers, farmer organizations, and other supplier organizations with whom we have commercial dealings.
Our focus on empowering cocoa farmers
Our business depends on cocoa, a fragile and sensitive crop grown in a narrow band around the Equator in some of the poorest countries of the world. Therefore, we actively contribute to ensuring that cocoa is grown in a sustainable and responsible way that generates income for farmers and that safeguards the environment. In addition to our own company programs, we contribute to a range of industry associations, initiatives and programs focused on sustainable cocoa production and increased income for farmers. These include the World Cocoa Foundation, the Cocoa Livelihoods Program, the Sustainable Tree Crops Program and the African Cocoa Initiative. In our Barry Callebaut Quality Partner Program with cocoa farmer cooperatives, we work with cocoa farmers to improve crop yields and quality, thereby helping to increase farmer incomes and improve family livelihoods.
International Cocoa Initiative (ICI)
The International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) is a non-profit foundation established as one of the milestones of the Harkin-Engel Protocol, also known as the Cocoa Industry Protocol. As a signatory of the Harkin-Engel Protocol, we underscored our commitment as an industry member to work in partnership with governments, business and civil society towards the elimination of abusive child labor and forced adult labor in cocoa growing. Barry Callebaut is a member of the Board of ICI. Our financial contributions support the delivery of child labor sensitization programs and other education-oriented and community-based activities that are executed through local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. These two countries in West Africa are the largest producers of cocoa beans, together supplying almost 70% of the world’s annual supply. They were the focus of the Harkin-Engel Protocol and subsequent initiatives. ICI is guided by international standards, in particular ILO Convention 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.
Assessing and addressing supply chain risks
With respect to cocoa, third party evaluations and assessments about child labor in the sector have been conducted through activities associated with the Harkin-Engel Protocol, including, for example, the Tulane Report commissioned by the Bureau of International Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, and country studies conducted by ministries in the national governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. With respect to other crops that we may source for use in the production of chocolate recipes, third party evaluations and assessments are being conducted on palm oil and hazelnuts, for example.
Auditing supplier compliance with company policies and procedures
Barry Callebaut conducts periodic audits of all suppliers of non-cocoa ingredients and goods. The audits, based on ISO standards, address quality compliance and ethical compliance, and are not presently conducted by a third party. With respect to cocoa, we conduct audits of cocoa farmer cooperatives to determine their eligibility to participate in our Quality Partner Program. All participating cooperatives are required to sign a charter in which they agree to not use child labor as defined by the ILO.
Certification processes and standards
Barry Callebaut works with its customers to meet their specific cocoa and chocolate requirements. This includes sourcing quantities of raw materials including cocoa and sugar that have been independently certified by third parties as being compliant with specific certification standards. Forced child labor and forced adult labor are expressly forbidden under such standards.
Our standards regarding human rights, forced labor and child labor are articulated in our Code of Conduct. Standards and procedures for reporting wrongful acts or suspected wrongful acts in violation of the Code of Conduct are communicated to all employees.
Communications and training
All Barry Callebaut employees worldwide receive a copy of the Barry Callebaut Code of Conduct in their local language. The Code of Conduct sets forth principles and guidelines for behavior and is complemented by our corporate and local policies and regulations. It is the responsibility of each employee to uphold the principles of the Code, and employees are encouraged to seek advice and to raise questions or concerns at any time with their manager, local HR department or Group Legal department. Information about our corporate social responsibility activities and sector issues and related actions are communicated regularly on the company intranet, corporate website, and internal and external publications. In addition, study tours in cocoa growing countries offer employees the opportunity to experience the cocoa sector first-hand and foster ongoing learning and understanding of sector issues, challenges and solutions.
Barry Callebaut will update this statement as necessary.
Date of last update: December 21, 2011