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Nestle is helping to close the living income gap for cocoa-farming communities

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An innovative income accelerator program aimed at addressing child labor risks was announced in January 2022.

Cocoa-farming communities face immense challenges, from rural poverty and increasing climate risks to a lack of access to financial services and basic infrastructure, such as water, health care and education.

These factors can lead to social issues, including the prevalence of child labor risk on family farms. By helping families close the gap to living income, the program aims to tackle child labor risks and deforestation. The program is an important component of our action plan to improve living incomes (pdf, 2Mb), one of our 10 salient human rights issues.

Helping farmers achieve a living income

The income accelerator program aims to improve the livelihoods of cocoa-farming families. The program rewards cocoa-farming families not just for the quantity and quality of their cocoa beans, but also for practices that benefit the environment and local community.

Our holistic approach aims to deliver long-lasting impact by incentivizing the enrollment of children in school while advancing regenerative agriculture practices and gender equality. The program rewards practices that increase crop productivity and help secure additional sources of income, which aim to close the gap to living income and help protect children.

The practices that we incentivize, through cash payments, are:
  • School enrollment for all children in the household ages 6-16
  • Implementing good agricultural practices, such as pruning, which increase crop productivity
  • Performing agroforestry activities to increase climate resilience, like planting shade trees
  • Generating diversified incomes, for example through growing other crops; raising livestock such as chickens, beekeeping, or selling vegetables from community led gardens.

These incentives are on top of the premiums offered to farmers for certified cocoa.

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