More than 70% of the world’s supply of cocoa comes from two countries nestled on the southern shore of West Africa: Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. There, whole communities are dedicated to growing the crop that is lucrative for governments and international traders, but brings below-poverty wages for the farmers who produce it. Low wages mean farmers cannot hire the labor needed to harvest the crop, and perpetuates the child trafficking and worst forms of child labor that have plagued the industry. Children are exposed to chemicals, long working hours, and the denial of a decent education. Low prices in the cocoa industry have left smallholder farmers with impoverished incomes and with no choice but to pull their children from school and have them help on the plantation. With low educational access and attendance, families in the cocoa sector are caught in a vicious cycle of poverty. Cocoa producers have little bargaining power against the few large multinational companies that control the supply chain and ultimately determine the livelihoods of farming families.
ILRF helped bring this problem to national attention more than a decade ago and is committed to bringing justice to cocoa farmers through public education, corporate campaigns, and engagement with partners organizing farmers on the ground.
- Cocoa | International Labor Rights Forum
- New Report on Cocoa & Child Labor Shows Problems | International Labor Rights Forum
- Cocoa Activism Moves to the Next Level! | International Labor Rights Forum
- Child Trafficking in the Cocoa Industry Continues, but There’s a New Way to Take Action! | International Labor Rights Forum
- Blog: Cocoa
- Publications | International Labor Rights Forum