Chocolate should make children shine. Not to work.
Chocolate from children for children? Only about 8% of cocoa worldwide comes from fair trade.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 71 percent of all cocoa beans in 2018 came from Africa - and only 16 percent from South America. In fact, the majority of cocoa comes from two countries: Ivory Coast and Ghana. There alone, more than 2.2 million children work on the cocoa plantations. They are mostly between 7 and 15 years old and work up to 12 hours a day. For them, cocoa means separation from the family and heavy physical work.
No more bitter aftertaste
The big chocolate manufacturers promised 20 years ago to end child labor in their supply chains. In 2001 this was passed in the Harkin-Engel Protocol: by 2005 there should be no more child labor. Since then, the goal has been repeatedly pushed into the future. Meanwhile, the number of child slaves has even increased.
Admittedly, stopping child labor in supply chains is a mammoth project. Even for companies that choose fair trade cocoa, controlling conditions on site is a major challenge. But the main reason for illegal child labor is still the poverty of the cocoa farmers, which results from the dumping prices in the cocoa business.
According to the industry association of the confectionery industry, the demand for fairly and sustainably produced chocolate has increased significantly in Germany in recent years. This is wonderful news, because just a few cents more could secure the livelihood of the farmers – without buyers in the supermarket really noticing it. In addition, a strong supply chain law is needed to legally prevent exploitation, child labor, poverty wages and the destruction of primeval forests.
Fair trade cocoa in nucao and numove
With a critical raw material like cocoa, aspects such as fair wages, fair working and living conditions and the exclusion of child labor are essential for us. That's why we source the cocoa for our products exclusively under fair conditions from cooperatives, where the quality of life of the workers, the quality of the cocoa and the sustainability of cultivation are very important and strengthen the local economy.
The cocoa in all of our products is certified with a seal that guarantees fair trade - either the Fairtrade seal or the Control Union Fair Choice seal. When it comes to our cocoa purchase, however, a distinction must be made between the different product groups.
We obtain the cocoa for our nucao and numove bars from the "Apanosan" cooperative in Peru. Apanosan is a manufacturer association from San Antonio Sonomoro and, as a cooperative, has the CU Fair Choice label. The certification controls sustainable development and improvement of social conditions in the growing countries and is subject to social criteria. These include aspects such as compliance with maximum working hours, the exclusion of forced labor and safe working conditions. Since the beans are processed into cocoa liquor while still in Peru, will contribute to local value creation: When we buy ready-made products such as cocoa nibs, cocoa butter and cocoa liquor, these contribute to the growth of the cooperative as a business and support the development of the communities. Through on-site processing, the community achieves direct benefits and new future prospects are opened up, especially for younger generations, without leaving their home town.
In Satipo we work with the "Apanosan" cooperative, a manufacturer association from San Antonio Sonomoro. At the same time, we also work with farmers who prefer to work independently and not through cooperatives.
The farmers of the cooperative receive 30 percent more wages than is usual on the world market. Based on the current market price, the payment is therefore also above the Fairtrade minimum price, which the Fairtrade seal guarantees. The cooperative also has the CU Fair Choice label. This controls the suppliers with the help of external experts with regard to aspects such as the fundamental rejection of child and forced labor, the use of UTZ-certified cocoa or cocoa mass, etc. Through the close contact with our importer and with her as a link to the small farmers we can ensure aspects that are essential for us, such as fair wages, fair working and living conditions and the exclusion of child labor.
In addition to cultivation, the beans are also processed into cocoa mass, which is how we contribute to local value creation: When we buy ready-made products such as cocoa nibs, cocoa butter and cocoa liqueur, these contribute to the growth of the cooperative as a company and promote the development of the communities. Through on-site processing, the community achieves direct benefits and new future prospects are opened up, especially for younger generations, without leaving their home town.
We are glad to have found the fairest and most transparent solution for us.
Fairtrade cocoa for Bunny and Snowy
For our nucao Bunny, which hops onto the stage just in time for Easter, as well as for our nucao Snowy, we source our cocoa from various Fairtrade-certified cooperations in Peru. " Fairtrade " is one of the most trustworthy labels on the market. It guarantees fair prices, safeguards children's rights, strengthens the position and rights of workers and, above all, monitors compliance with these criteria.
With Snowy and our Bunny we support the cooperatives Norandino, Oro Verde, Acopagro and SUMAQAO: Each cooperative pursues its own priorities, depending on the challenges that prevail in the individual regions. However, all small farmers rely on sustainable agriculture, careful use of resources and high-quality products. Cultivation in agroforestry and mixed cultures is a minimum requirement for the cocoa farmers. In recent years, the cooperatives and co-ops have also proven themselves as a development engine for the regions in Peru and offer farming families new, forward-looking perspectives through further education and training.
In our opinion, sustainable cocoa procurement must be complemented by ecological requirements in addition to the minimum social conditions. Unfortunately, deforestation, especially from rainforest areas, is still far too often the norm when it comes to cocoa plantations. But chocolate has to be uncompromisingly good – also for the planet. That is why we are not only committed to reforestation projects , but also take a holistic view of sustainability. And that is also reflected in our products .
Buy chocolate with fair cocoa
Sources and further information:
Henn, S. (2020): How much child labor is in chocolate?
Make Chocolate Fair (2020): Child labor in cocoa farming
Hahn, N. (2020): Still a lot of child labor in chocolate
Becker, A. (2020): Cocoa: No progress in the fight against child labor
Kwasniewski, N (2020): The dark side of chocolate
Harkin-engel protocol: https://www.fairtrade-deutschland.de/service/newsroom/news/details/studie-beigt-bei-kinderarbeit-im-kakaowachsen-bricht-die-schokoladenindustrie-ihre-versprechen-5280