In July 2014, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) published the report "Assessing Women's Roles in Nestlé's Ivory Coast Supply Chain." This report articulated 17 specific recommendations to Nestlé and the Ivorian government to raise the status of women in the Nestlé supply chain, and to improve conditions for women in cocoa-producing areas of the Ivory Coast. In response to one of the report's recommendations, Nestlé committed to a pilot project designed to develop and promote two local women’s associations in its cocoa supply chain and give women a greater voice in local community affairs.
To achieve this objective, Nestlé and the FLA began implementing a two-year "Gender Dialogue" project in two Ivorian cocoa-growing communities supplying to Nestlé: Yaokouakoukro (Gagnoa) and Zaranou (Abengourou). The project activities commenced in November 2014 with the development of research questions, performance indicators, and a road map for the project. This was followed with an introductory visit to the chosen communities in March 2015, to share information about the project's objectives; identify women who could act as liaisons on the project; and profile the existing infrastructure, opportunities, and challenges for women. In July of 2015, project staff returned to the communities to conduct a baseline Social Impact Assessment (SIA), a more in-depth examination of conditions for women in the two communities, against which later assessments will be compared, as the Gender Dialogue project runs its course.
The next stage of the project consisted of a training visit in August – September 2015 during which the selected communities participated in the "Gender Action Learning for Sustainability (GALS)" program, under the direction of FLA staff and GALS methodology expert Dr. Linda Mayoux. During this visit, project staff began addressing a number of topics requiring further dialogue within the communities, including economic independence for women. Since then, subsequent follow up visits have been conducted to the communities to strengthen available grievance mechanisms available to women in Nestlé’s supply chain.
Complete activity reports for each visit by FLA staff appear below, and this page will be continually updated with new reports as the Gender Dialogue project in Yaokouakoukro and Zaranou continues.
PHOTO: The women of Yaokouakoukro attend an introductory visit with FLA field staff.