Ferrero’s position on child labour within the cocoa supply chain

Ferrero has a “Zero tolerance approach” towards child labour and is committed to protect children’s rights all along its supply chain, as stated in its Code of Business Conduct.

Ferrero has always been fully committed to fighting against child labor, with the conviction that every child should be protected, by all possible means, from economic exploitation, which is an abominable phenomenon.

Ferrero suppliers are contractually required to comply with the Ferrero’s Code of Business Conduct. If cases of child labor are reported, as recently happened, the contract is automatically terminated and the case reported to the appropriate authorities.

Ferrero’s Code of Business Conduct is coherent with the principles of the ILO’s Minimum Age Convention No. 138 and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention No. 182.

Moreover, Ferrero already strongly supports the protection of the rights of children all over the world, through the objectives indicated in the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact, to which the Ferrero Group has officially adhered.

Ferrero’s Code of Business Conduct is available at www.ferrero.com/social-responsibility/code-business-conduct.

Certifications and Standards

Currently, the Group is working with the following certification standards: UTZ, Rainforest Alliance Certified™ and Fairtrade.

UTZ certification means sustainable agriculture and better opportunities for farmers, their families and the planet. The UTZ program enhances farmers’ knowledge of good agricultural practices, improves working con-ditions and ensure they care for their children and the environment. Through UTZ, farmers grow better crops and enjoy a higher income, which creates better opportunities for them and their families, preserves the environment and protects the earth’s natural resources.

Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms support a healthy environment, promote the well-being of workers and their communities and ensure efficient farming methods. Farm workers benefit from safe working conditions and housing, medical care and access to schools for their children. Certification helps ensure the protection of ecosystems, including wildlife habitats, water and soil.

The Fairtrade Cocoa Program enables small-scale farmers to benefit by selling more of their cocoa as Fairtrade. For more info, visit www.info.fairtrade.net/program. Within the Fairtrade Sourcing Program terms, in 2016 Ferrero decided to double the amount of cocoa it purchases from Fairtrade farmers – to 40,000 metric tonnes over the next three years.

Moreover, Ferrero collaborates with non-profit and farmer organizations to address agricultural, social, environmental and business issues in cocoa farming. Ferrero also supports ongoing local projects to ensure sustainable cocoa production, whilst improving cocoa farmers’ living conditions and the well-being of their communities. Following are some examples of these on-the-ground projects.

Elimination of child labour through Projects and Partnerships

- Save the Children partnership:
aimed at the protection and education of child labour victims on cocoa farms in the south-west of the Ivory Coast, by enhancing alternative educational pathways to child labor.
- Ferrero Fairtrade and Cooperative Union ECOOKIM Joint-Monitoring Programme:
sourcing Fairtrade certified and sustainable cocoa from ECOOKIM in the Ivory Coast, with the aim to support further social and sustainable development of the cocoa farming communities and improve their well-being.
- Fairtrade Child Labour Prevention Programme “It takes a Village to Protect a Child”:
Supplier ECOOKIM’s engaged in programme to prevent child labour in cocoa communities and promote the well-being of children, through the establishment of a Child Labour committee to conduct awareness-raising activities, develop a child protection policy as well as improve child education.
- Ferrero Cocoa Community Commitment (F3C):
to improve the livelihoods and well-being of cocoa farming families in Ghana, through the reduction of the worst forms of child labour and the increase in household income.
- Nigeria Kokodola Project:
aimed at improving the livelihood of cocoa farmers in western Nigeria, through technical training on best agricultural cocoa practices as well as awareness-raising activities on social issues such as child labour, to address and eliminate them.

Institutional and Collective Engagement

Furthermore Ferrero is a partner of collective public/private platforms, such as the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) and the World Cocoa Foundation’s “Cocoa Action” Strategy, whose interventions seek to reduce the occurrence of farm-level practices that have in the past involved the use of children. Ferrero believes that Cocoa Action’s strength lies in combining community development and farmer productivity with the intention of raising farm-level incomes, an approach that should see change in cocoa-growing communities and a reduction in the use of child labor in West Africa.

For more information please refer to our CSR Report.