PUFin engages in a number of research activities and events in order to further our understanding and to share findings with stakeholders and the public.
The dark story behind cocoa
The US Department of Labour has estimated that 1.56 million children carry out hazardous work on cocoa farms in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The topic is more relevant than ever in light of the partial COVID-19 lockdown in the Ivory Coast which saw a sharp rise in child labour.
The child labour plague has been long under the spotlight of international bodies, foundations, and standard setters. Nevertheless, the cocoa industry remains still dogged in controversy amid allegations of child labour and slavery, despite promises to eradicate it in 2001. Our research examines the issues of child labour, forced child labour and unsustainable farming practices within the chocolate industry, with a specific focus on the discourse about Nestlé’s Ivory Coast cocoa supply chain.
Despite introducing sustainability programs, Nestlé and several other international companies continue to source cocoa from the Ivory Coast. Will they keep their promises to eradicate the worst forms of child labour, including slavery? Only time will tell, but after two decades the problems persist.
This PUFin event, held in April 2021, brought academic and non-academic experts together to discuss this "wicked problem" of child labour in society.
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