"The chocolate industry agrees there is more to be done to address real concerns about inappropriate child labour and human trafficking in the cocoa growing communities in West Africa, where about 70% of the world's cocoa products are sourced," Tim Piper, Head of the Australian Industry Group Confectionery Sector, said today.
The report providesa benchmark study of current industry efforts to address child labour and human trafficking prevention on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, in particular. "The report recognises that improvements are being made while further work continues.
"The global chocolate industry has been working with stakeholders in the cocoa supply chain, including farmers and their communities, NGOs, processors, certification agencies and government authorities. They have invested tens of millions of dollars into these programs.
"The industry has also been working with STT, as the lead agency campaigning for cocoa farmers.
"The industry programs extend beyond certification, by investing in a range of initiatives that aim to create empowered and thriving farming communities, working in partnership to strengthen and provide a better future for the farmers, their families and communities.
"Their aim is to create a real and long-lasting difference," Mr Piper said.
Further comment: Tim Piper – 0411 430 301
Tim Piper is Head of the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) in Victoria and its Confectionery Sector. The Ai Group Confectionery Sector represents the confectionery industry through its management of the Ai Group Confectionery Sector.