Nestlé announces income accelerator programme to help tackle child labour

By Charlotte Turner |

Nestlé has announced a new plan to tackle child labour risks in cocoa production by initiating an income accelerator program, which aims to improve the livelihoods of cocoa-farming families, while also advancing regenerative agriculture practices and gender equality.

 

Nestlé was the first confectionery/food brand to receive a five-star ‘Sustainability Hero’ award from TRBusiness in April 2021 during the inaugural TR Sustainability Week and in a recent video interview, Stewart Dryburgh, General Manager for Nestlé International Travel Retail (NITR) dissected the principles of its new VERSE strategy, which includes ‘regeneration’.

 

“We’re on one planet, there’s a finite amount of resources and there’s far too many of us trying to draw too much from it at the moment,” said Dryburgh. “Regeneration is about saying ‘sustaining is not enough’; it’s about protecting, it’s about renewing and it’s about restoring the planet.”

 

The income accelerator program recently announced by Nestlé will ensure that a cash incentive is paid directly to cocoa-farming households for certain activities such as enrolment of children in school and pruning among several others.

 

FULL TRACEABILITY OF COCOA 

Nestlé’s new plan also supports the company’s work to transform its global sourcing of cocoa to achieve full traceability and segregation for its cocoa products.

 

As Nestlé continues to expand its cocoa sustainability efforts, the company plans to invest a total of CHF1.3 billion by 2030; more than tripling its current annual investment.

 

“The income accelerator program offers a novel approach to help support farmers and their families in their transition to more sustainable cocoa farming,” said the company.

 

“The incentives will encourage behaviours and agricultural practices that are designed to steadily build social and economic resilience over time.

We believe that, together with governments, NGOs and others in the cocoa industry, we can help improve the lives of cocoa-farming families and give children the chance to learn and grow in the safe and healthy environment they deserve."

We believe that, together with governments, NGOs and others in the cocoa industry, we can help improve the lives of cocoa-farming families and give children the chance to learn and grow in the safe and healthy environment they deserve,” said Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO.

MEANINGFUL INCENTIVES

“With Nestlé’s new approach, cocoa-farming families will now be rewarded not only for the quantity and quality of cocoa beans they produce but also for the benefits they provide to the environment and local communities.”

 

According to the company, these incentives are on top of the premium introduced by the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana that Nestlé pays and the premiums Nestlé offers for certified cocoa. Nestlé also insists that this cocoa is audited against the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard, promoting the social, economic and environmental well-being of farmers and local communities.

 

“Our goal is to have an additional tangible, positive impact on a growing number of cocoa-farming families, especially in areas where poverty is widespread and resources are scarce, and to help close the living income gap they face over time,” said Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO.

 

“Building on our longstanding efforts to source cocoa sustainably, we will continue to help children go to school, empower women, improve farming methods and facilitate financial resources. We believe that, together with governments, NGOs and others in the cocoa industry, we can help improve the lives of cocoa-farming families and give children the chance to learn and grow in the safe and healthy environment they deserve.”

 

For more information on Néstle’s income accelerator program among its other CSR initiatives, click here.

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