Barry Callebaut Nigeria sensitizes Cocoa Farmers to Child Labour

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Barry Callebaut Nigeria Cocoa and Chocolate Limited, a subsidiary of Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, has organized an event to train and sensitize cocoa farmers to child labour-related issues.

This is also as a measure to address this concern and support the United Nations World Day Against Child Labour (12th June, 2022).

The child labour tag has been one of the major concerns around the chocolate business, particularly as it affects farmers and children in countries supplying cocoa to the global market.

A new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF has shown that the number of children in child labour has risen to 160 million worldwide – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years – with millions more at risk due to the impacts of COVID-19.

 

Young boy rakes cocoa beans on a drying rack.

 

“This is a first of its kind where we bring together farmers to sensitize and train them on the hot topic of child labour, which is also one of the pillars under our sustainability programme, Cocoa Horizons.

“With the help of our seasoned facilitator/consultant, the awareness and sensitization programme will go a long way in impacting the lives of farmers and changing our orientation towards the issue of child labor and force in our society,” said Ahmed Adejola,  the Sustainability Operations Manager, while welcoming the farmers at the event in Emiloro Town Hall, Emiloro, Oda, Akure, Ondo State, South-west Nigeria.

He then advised that after the training programme the farmers should be foot soldiers, ambassadors, and advocate for zero child labour in various villages, communities, and towns at large.

“A child can help in a minor task on the farm. They can learn from the parents but it should be within the ability, the capacity, the age of the child and the mental health of the child.

“Child labour is very dangerous to the children. It can make the children have physical disabilities. The government has laid down some laws for child labour and there are penalties.

“The government should also enforce the UBE Act, the law that ensures that every child must have compulsory basic education, and the government also needs to empower the parents, especially the cocoa farmers, they need more of government intention, monitoring and follow up,” said Mr. Adaramola Emmanuel, the facilitator at the event, in his delivery.

While adding his view about the event Mujeeb Oniyide, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for Barry Callebaut Nigeria Cocoa and Chocolate Limited indicated that for the company to achieve its set target, a Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) programme will be institutionalized in the targeted cocoa-producing communities and villages in order to engage the farmers in preventing child labour cases.

He added that the aim of the CLMRS will be to identify indicators that could lead to child labour cases, identify already existing child labour cases, and proffer remediation solutions for the affected child(ren) and the family concerned.

Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products and committed to making 100% sustainable chocolate by 2025.

For cocoa farmers in Nigeria to be part of this global sustainable plan, lots of developmental activities will continuously be rolled out by the company to promote cocoa-farming in some cocoa-producing States in the country.

Some of the programmes already designed for farmers include good agricultural practices training, good business practices training, child labour awareness, financial inclusion plans, and agro-forestry projects.

 

 

Source: Agro Nigeria


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