2011 Assessment, Nestlé Cocoa Supply Chain, Ivory Coast

In November 2011, FLA commissioned a team of 20 local and international experts to conduct an assessment of Nestlé’s cocoa supply chain in the Ivory Coast. The assessment team included representatives from the Centre de Recherche et d’Action pour la Paix, Abidjan; Afrique Secours et Assistance; Human Resources Without Borders; the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation, and the FLA.

The goals of the assessment were to map stakeholders in Nestlé’s cocoa supply chain; map Nestlé’s cocoa supply chain in the Ivory Coast; and assess the associated labor risks in Nestlé’s cocoa supply chain.

FLA’s assessment of the cocoa supply chain builds on existing research and focuses not on counting the number of children working in the industry, but rather on evaluating the root causes and means available to build a robust monitoring and remediation system. The report identifies gaps in Nestlé’s internal management systems and their effect on labor risks in the supply chain. The report also provides detailed recommendations to Nestlé, the government, and other international buyers on how to mitigate risks to workers throughout the global supply chain.

The field visits to the Ivory Coast were initially planned for December 2011, but due to security reasons around parliamentary elections, the visits by the assessment team were delayed until January 2012. To develop a full understanding of the risks facing workers in the sector, the assessment team consulted with a number of government institutions, civil society organizations, and local associations in the Ivory Coast. They also visited seven Nestlé suppliers representing 79 percent of the volume of beans or cocoa products purchased by Nestlé from the Ivory Coast in 2011. The assessment gathered data through individual and group interviews; on-site observations in processing facilities, buying centers, cooperatives, nurseries, and farms; documentation review of The Nestlé Cocoa Plan and at the suppliers, cooperative and farm level; and observations in the villages and camps.

In the course of three field visits, the assessment team visited 87 farms and interviewed a representative sample of 466 men, women, and children on the farms. Overall, more than 500 interviews were conducted during the assessment.