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Supporting cocoa farmers and their families

Cocoa farmers face numerous issues and pressures. Even with government support and additional premiums like Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade, many farmers simply don't grow enough cocoa to earn a living wage. This creates societal as well as economic issues. For example, when farmers can't afford to send their kids to school, the risk of child labour greatly increases. Women, typically responsible for childcare and household expenses, often have no direct income of their own and aren't empowered to make choices. Additionally, cocoa farmers operate in areas vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Without action, this represents another threat to their livelihoods.

About the income accelerator programme

The living income accelerator is a new programme aimed at increasing income for cocoa farmers and supporting their children and families. There are four key parts to it, each underpinned by support and financial incentives.

Farmer income living communities cocoa
1. Good agricultural practices

 

Along with a financial incentive, farmers will be given training and support to develop good agricultural practices, such as pruning trees, which can boost productivity and therefore income significantly.

Resilience to climate change living income
2. Agroforestry

 

Nestlé has promised to develop ways of producing food that actively restore natural habitats and protect biodiversity - and this is an important strand of the programme. Cocoa farmers are particularly affected by climate change - droughts and other extreme weather conditions can devastate crops and destroy fertile soil. Farmers will be incentivised to carry out activities which help build climate resilience, such as planting shade trees that not only protect the cocoa crops but absorb and capture carbon dioxide from the air.

enrolling children school cocoa living income
3. Child protection

 

Nestlé will provide financial incentives to families for enrolling all children aged between 6 and 16 in school. Payments will be made at the start of the school year, which is when families say the money is needed the most.

direct payments women living income
4. Alternative sources of income

 

Farmers will receive payments to establish additional sources of income, such as growing fruit trees or other crops, keeping livestock or beekeeping.

Half the payments made through the programme will go directly to spouses within the families, promoting gender equality by giving women direct access to income of their own. Nestlé will work with partners to set up associations to encourage savings and provide loans to women for small business opportunities.
Tracing our cocoa – from farm to factory
A key aim of the income accelerator programme is to enable Nestlé to trace its cocoa supply chain at every step - from individual farms right through to our chocolate factories in the UK and around the world. One way to think of it is that our cocoa will travel with a sort of virtual passport, which gets stamped at every stage of the cocoa's journey.