On October 19, the U.S. Department of Labor released the University of Chicago NORC Report: Assessing Progress in Reducing Child Labor in Cocoa-Growing Areas of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. In response, Mars Wrigley provides the following comment:
"Child labor has no place in the cocoa supply chain which is why Mars Wrigley has committed $1 billion USD as part of its Cocoa for Generations strategy to help fix a broken supply chain. We call for robust public-private collaboration and we support appropriate due diligence legislation to address the root causes of child labor in West Africa cocoa growing communities.
Mars Wrigley’s Protecting Children Action Plan (PCAP) has four levers that aim to tackle root causes head-on:
- Robust child labor monitoring and remediation systems (CLMRS) in 100% of at-risk households by 2025. To date, Mars Wrigley has reached an estimated 34,000 households, and is on a path to cover 100 percent of an estimated 180,000 at-risk households in its cocoa supply chain by 2025.
- Women’s Social and Economic Empowerment through its initiative with CARE;
- Increasing access to quality education and development opportunities for children through an investment in the Jacobs Foundation CLEF/ELAN; and
- Improving farmer income through premiums paid for certified cocoa, by purchasing cocoa under the Living Income Differential (LID), and by piloting models to help farmers increase productivity and diversify household income through other crops.
To accelerate addressing the root causes of child labor, the entire international community must engage collaboratively and drive collective action. Mars Wrigley calls on all retailers, chocolate companies and cocoa suppliers to take on a larger role in the fight to end child labor by:
- Creating CLMRS programs in all at-risk areas in the cocoa supply chain;
- Committing to public-private partnerships with cocoa growing countries to tackle child labor through holistic programs that address root causes; and
- Calling for and committing to due diligence measures.
The problem of child labor is bigger than any one entity, and the solution must be grounded in an unwavering commitment to action and collaboration between farmers, communities, civil society, business, and government.”
To learn more about Mars Wrigley’s commitments to protecting children, preserving forests and improving farmer income under its Cocoa for Generations strategy, visit www.mars.com/sustainability-plan/cocoa-for-generations.
About Mars, Incorporated
For more than a century, Mars, Incorporated has been driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. This idea is at the center of who we have always been as a global, family-owned business. Today, Mars is transforming, innovating and evolving in ways that affirm our commitment to making a positive impact on the world around us.
Across our diverse and expanding portfolio of confectionery, food, and petcare products and services, we employ 133,000 dedicated Associates who are all moving in the same direction: forward. With $40 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world’s best-loved brands including DOVE®, EXTRA®, M&M’s®, MILKY WAY®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, ORBIT®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, SKITTLES®, BEN’S ORIGINAL™, WHISKAS®, COCOAVIA®, and 5™; and take care of half of the world’s pets through our pet health services AniCura, Banfield Pet Hospitals™, BluePearl®, Linnaeus, Pet Partners™, and VCA™.
We know we can only be truly successful if our partners and the communities in which we operate prosper as well. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire our Associates to take action every day to help create a world tomorrow in which the planet, its people and pets can thrive.