Initiative to tackle child labour in the cocoa industry

The cocoa industry has been criticised for many year for its involvement in child labour in Western Africa, where approximately 70 percent of the world’s cocoa beans are produced. During the year, all the AP Funds in the Council on Ethics signed an initiative, the purpose of which is to eliminate child labour in the cocoa industry.

The Council on Ethics, together with several other investors, has sent letters to ten companies in the cocoa industry and asked them to give details of their long-term strategies for tackling child labour within the supply chain. The letters were followed up with telephone meetings with the companies. There will also be continual monitoring over the next few years. So far, the dialogues indicate that the companies have achieved varying results but that they regard participation in initiatives to combat child labour as important.
During the year, the Council on Ethics also visited one of the companies to find out more about how the company works with sustain-ability-related issues.

Why is this initiative important?

  • Child labor is used extensively in West Africa, where 70 percent of the world’s cocoa beans are grown.
  • Companies should work actively and to eliminate child labor in the cocoa industry.