Cocoa Horizons truck Forever chocolate

November 25, 2018 Sustainability Forever Chocolate

New Horizons for cocoa

Eradicating child labor is a challenge that the entire cocoa industry has been working toward for more than a decade. However, the reality is that instances still persist, which makes it crucial to test new approaches and combine tactics in order to have an impact.

The Cocoa Horizons Foundation is focusing on a child-centric approach to drive community involvement, and coupling this with monitoring and remediation activities. By capturing data to identify communities at high risk for child labor, monitoring and remediation activities can then be implemented where they are most needed.

Cocoa Horizons children Forever Chocolate

Scaling up Cocoa Horizons capabilities

The Foundation scaled up its capabilities around monitoring and remediation in 2017/18 enabling them to reach:

  • 8,914 households in Côte d’Ivoire, up from 2,073 community members in 2016/17

  • 4,342 households in Ghana, new this year

In the future, an emphasis will be on additional interventions to drive behavioral changes within the community, enabling the accountability of community members. For example, groups of adults are being trained to take on the activities previously performed by children. This presence will enable children to stay in school and increase opportunities for the future of communities as a whole.

Additionally, the Cocoa Horizons truck travels to remote regions to sensitize entire communities on the negative consequences of child labor, and promote alternatives so that children have the ability to attend school and improve their future potential. In 2017/18, 65 communities were reached by the truck, where 20,748 people participated in the sensitization program. This is up from six communities the previous year.

Cocoa Horizons truck Forever chocolate

...the Cocoa Horizons truck travels to remote regions to sensitize entire communities on the negative consequences of child labor, and promote alternatives.....In 2017/18, 65 communities were reached by the truck, where 20,748 people participated in the sensitization program.

 

Finally, Cocoa Horizons works to empower women in cocoa farming communities to earn an income to not only break the cycle of poverty, but to solve a root cause of child labor. Studies show that when women earn an income, they invest in their communities and their children’s future. In 2017/18, there were more than 19,000 registered Cocoa Horizons women farmers. The Foundation encourages the participation of women in agroforestry training programs, enabling them to also become farmer trainers, and additionally conducts skills training which helps farmers, including women, to advance to governance positions at participating farmer groups. Agroforestry training reached 306 women this past season in Cocoa Horizons communities, whereas 218 women were in governance positions within farmer groups as of August 31, 2018.

 

In 2017/18, there were more than 19,000 registered Cocoa Horizons women farmers. The Foundation encourages the participation of women in agroforestry training programs, enabling them to also become farmer trainers, and additionally conducts skills training which helps farmers, including women, to advance to governance positions at participating farmer groups.

 
Women farmer Cocoa Horizons Forever Chocolate

Child labor is a symptom of deeper problems and it will not be eradicated without tackling systemic poverty. That is why the Foundation implements a holistic approach to sustainability, targeting activities to professionalize cocoa farming, providing farmers with a unique business plan approach including accessibility to inputs and finance, in order to improve the productivity of their farms and diversify their income through other crops in addition to cocoa.  

 

Forever Chocolate is Barry Callebaut's plan to make sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025 to help ensure future supplies of cocoa and improve farmer livelihoods. It supports the Cocoa Horizons Foundation in its goal to shape a sustainable cocoa and chocolate future.

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