Nestlé announced their plans to be the first global chocolate brand to use only sustainably sourced cocoa to manufacture all of its products, starting Q1 of 2016. Was this them trying to be a leader or reacting to recent discoveries into the faults found in their supply chain or here?
- 2013: Purchased 62 299 tonnes of cocoa
- 2014: Purchased 91 801 tonnes of cocoa
- 2015: Source 100,000 tonnes of cocoa
- 2016: Source 120,000 tonnes of cocoa and complete rollout of Child Labour Monitoriing and Remediation System (identifying child labour in all Nestlé Cocoa Plan Co-ops in Côte d’Ivoire. This will cover all 67 co-ops by the end of the year (currently at 14 co-ops who have Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems in place)
- 2017: Source 150,000 tonnes of cocoa
What does this all mean?
- Enable farmers to run profitable farms
- Improve social conditions
- Source good quality and sustainable cocoa
- Through building schools – provide better access to education and support for women in which will improve social conditions and reduce risks of child labour
Firstly, it’s not just Nestlé that has been the target of child labour in the chocolate industry. It has been always been a constant fight to have it addressed as mentioned by multiple international human rights organizations i.e.) Anti Slavery International or International Labour Rights Forum. It comes at no surprise but whether it has been strongly commissioned into their code of conduct is something that can only be known internally.
Secondly, some may question why only KitKat? With experience in the supply chain, I can say that it is better to start small and test a “small patch” before expanding their sourcing objectives. By being transparent makes them extremely vulnerable to the public’s eye and hence small steps are needed – they are now under constant watch. I trust that one day all brands of chocolate under Nestle will accomplish this goal to alleviate child or any type of labor in their supply chain. Every company requires new objectives once the old ones are completed and that is one I hope they aim to work on. So…was this pro-active or reactive? I would certainly say both. You need both in order to convince the right people to make it a priority for change in the company. Think of it as a trigger, regardless of whether they have always been fully aware of the issues.
Although i’m not one to think too much on my chocolate (such as: who picked it, who made it, how do we have such a large abundance here compared to some areas where they’ve never even tasted chocolate), I have managed to convince myself to buy chocolate more ethically sourced (and pricier). This may also help me stop consuming so much (if the prices are too costly, which is a win-win situation for me). Hopefully it gives you a second thought into justifying the cost of a chocolate bar that helps improve social conditions (whether or not you see it) as it did with me.
To Ponder On: We surely build a lot of trust in the companies we see, know and purchase from everyday. When they get exposed, does it change any of your actions or do your actions change only when your peers start judging you?
Photo Source: Confectionery News