Australian biscuit company Arnott’s has announced that it will now source its West African cocoa through the Fair-trade certification scheme for production of all chocolate-based products, including their Tim Tams range, in a bid to stop child trafficking and unacceptable forms of child labour in the African cocoa industry.
The commitment follows a public campaign led by World Vision earlier this year calling on the company to ensure its cocoa supply chains were free from child labour, with World Vision’s CEO Tim Costello welcoming the move.
“Arnott’s sources 24 percent of its cocoa from Ghana in West Africa where there is widespread use of child labour in the cocoa industry. As CEO of World Vision I have visited the cocoa fields in West Africa where kids use dangerous machetes and pesticides, work long hours and often don’t go to school,” he said.
“The lack of a fair and stable price for cocoa farmers is a root cause of the exploitative labour problem. Farmers typically receive only a very small proportion of the final retail price for their cocoa, which means they are forced to produce it below the fair cost of production. It’s these conditions that often lead farmers to use child labour.
“By sourcing its cocoa through the Fair-trade certification system, Arnott’s is helping farmers get a fair price for their cocoa. It will also protect Arnott’s supply chain from exploitative labour practices.”
The agreement signed by Arnott’s to source its cocoa through the Fair-trade certification scheme stands until 2012, with a new policy commitment extending beyond this period.
World Vision Australia is working to unite Australians against human trafficking and slavery, with their Don’t Trade Lives campaign calling on the global chocolate industry to ensure a fair price for cocoa farmers in hopes to stop all exploited labour from cocoa production by 2018.
For more information or to support please visit http://www.donttradelives.com.au