Child labour

child labour

Child labour

What is the issue?

Our supply chain includes producers of cocoa, hazelnut and vanilla, industries in which child labour has been identified as a potential risk. The underlying causes behind child labour are complex, and it can be difficult to identify as much of it occurs within the family unit.

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Why is it important?

Child labour has no place in our supply chain or anywhere else in our operations. We are against all forms of child exploitation. Working with organisations such as the Fair Labor Association (FLA), we are determined to eliminate all forms of child labour from our supply chain, while respecting family situations and the legitimate need for rural development.


  • Not yet achieved
  • By 2015 – (globally) Complete action plans to reduce child labour in our cocoa, hazelnut and vanilla supply chains, with 60 000 farmers trained on child labour practices, 60 schools built or renovated, and 80% of co-operatives covered by a child labour monitoring and remediation system (100% by 2016).
  • Our Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) identifies child labour in our cocoa supply chain, helping us understand root causes and develop appropriate responses. By the end of 2015, the system covered 40 cocoa co-operatives (50% of those supplying us), while 44,617 farmers and 120,067 community members had been made aware of child labour. All vanilla and hazelnut co-operatives were also covered.

    In 2015, we maintained our commitment to fight child labour as a member of the International Labour Organization’s Child Labour Platform, and continued to implement action plans focused on categories and countries with a higher risk of child labour issues.


Safeguarding the wellbeing of children and ensuring they can make the most of their lives.


Managing risk to rights holders and the business across our operations and supply chains.

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What are we doing about it?

Our supplier code (pdf, 2Mb) and its appendix (pdf, 2Mb) set out the non-negotiable minimum standards to which we ask our suppliers to adhere at all times when conducting business. These explicitly forbid the use of child labour. The code is an integral part of all purchase orders and supply contracts, and we are integrating it into all other commercial agreements.

We are taking action to progressively eliminate child labour by assessing individual cases and tackling the root causes. These efforts are part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, which aims to improve the lives of cocoa farming communities and the quality of the cocoa we purchase.

We recognise that eliminating child labour is a shared responsibility. We are engaging with other global and local stakeholders, including the Ivorian government, to tackle this serious and complex issue.

Since the system was put in place by Nestlé and its supply chain, child labour has greatly reduced.
Yolande Kodjo, International Cocoa Initiative, Côte d’Ivoire

Child Labour Remediation and Monitoring System

In 2012, we set up our Child Labour Remediation and Monitoring System (CLMRS) in Côte d’Ivoire. The system is designed to help us identify children at risk of child labour in each cocoa community, along with the conditions and root causes that put them at risk.

When we identify children at risk, we work with our partners and the community to address the problem, as well as raising awareness of child labour issues.

We have introduced CLMRS in 32 farmer co-operatives, and plan to roll it out to all Nestlé Cocoa Plan co-operatives (around 79 in total) by the end of 2016.

To the best of our knowledge, we are the first cocoa purchaser to set up such a system to tackle child labour.

Kid writing in the class  

Educational opportunities for children

Lack of access to education is one of the main underlying causes of child labour. To create more educational opportunities for children in Côte d’Ivoire, we invest in building schools. In 2014, we built or refurbished 17 schools, enabling 2,908 children to go to school for the first time.

This means we achieved our target of building or refurbishing 40 schools in just four years, one year ahead of schedule. So far, 11,000 children have been given access to education as part of our ongoing schools programme.

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What’s next?

The eradication of child labour throughout our supply chain will continue to be a key priority for our company in future. We are engaging with global and local stakeholders, including the Ivorian government, to make sustained, long-term progress in tackling this serious and complex issue.