Mondelēz’s cocoa sustainability programme Cocoa Life will enforce a ban on child labour at the company’s cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire, through its Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS).

In 2015, Mondelēz said it hired independent human rights consultancy group Embode to help Cocoa Life evaluate infrastructure surrounding national child protection in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia.

Cocoa Life implemented a CLMRS in 96 farming communities in Ghana in 2016 specifically to tackle child labour, increasing this number to 137 cocoa communities in 2017.  In Côte d’Ivoire, there is no current CLMRS for the 443 farming communities, prompting Cocoa Life to roll out the system in the country this year.

Mondelēz spokesperson Valerie Moens said: “We can’t give specific numbers yet as we’re at the beginning of our journey for the activation of CLMRS in Côte d’Ivoire. Our ultimate goal is to have a CLMRS in all Cocoa Life communities.​

“It’s important to remember that the societal and economic climates in each origin are different circumstances contributing to child labour. Implementation of child labour sensitisation and CLMRS are community-based and therefore take time.”​

Cocoa Life’s latest progress report documented that the sustainability programme assisted 120,500 farmers by the end of 2017, a 31% increase on the previous year. It also increased its sustainable cocoa sourcing from 14% to 35% over the same period.

According to Mondelēz, sustainably sourced cocoa beans have been used in more products such as the entire Cadbury Dairy Milk range in the UK and Ireland, as well as Oreo cookies sold across Europe.

“We first need to expand the numbers of farmers participating in the program, which was our focus last year (2016),” ​Moens told Confectionery News: “We’ve been working on scaling up Cocoa Life volume and expanding the number of farmers all along.​ The percentage of sustainable beans remained flat from 2015 to 2016 as we were switching from certification to Cocoa Life-sourced cocoa. In 2017, as we scaled up Cocoa Life volumes, this drove growth in overall sustainable sourced volume.”​