Find out more about child labor in the cocoa sector, oroverde

Cocoa is a popular raw material that comes to us from Germany from the tropical parts of the world. But how is the "brown gold" grown? The sad truth behind the treat is often child labor on the cocoa plantations. Poverty is usually one of the main reasons for child labor.

  • The largest cocoa-producing region in the world is West Africa.
  • A survey based on surveys for Ghana and Côte d ́Ivoire showed that in 2013/14 2.3 million children worked in cocoa production, which means an increase of 24% compared to 2008/09.
  • Some children who work on cocoa plantations have had no contact with their families for years.

Questions and answers on child labor in the cocoa sector

Why is there child labor in the cocoa sector??

The small farmers produce the largest part of the world harvest. at the same time they are very dependent on cocoa cultivation, since this is often the only source of income for them. The strongly fluctuating and, in comparison to the 1980s, very low prices make it difficult for them to make a living from cocoa cultivation, to pay the necessary workers appropriately and to invest in the preservation of their acreage. The world market price for cocoa almost split between 1980/81 and 2017. As a result, child labor in the West African cocoa-growing regions increased significantly, especially around 2000, when the price was at a low. The farmers were simply unable to pay adult workers.

A survey based on surveys for Ghana and the Ivory Coast showed that 2.3 million children worked in cocoa production in 2013/14, which means an increase of 24% compared to 2008/09. 2.03 million of the children (+18%) worked in child labor that had any form of health, Psyche or morals at risk. There are also indications for cocoa plantations in Brazil that some of the children work there.

The majority of cocoa-growing families in West Africa live below the poverty line, which is $ 1.25 a person a day. In the cocoa growing regions, the proportion of undernourished children is around 30% higher than the national average, as well as the child mortality rate.

Due to the problematic situation of farmers, the industry is threatened by a decline in acreage and harvest volumes. That is why many chocolate manufacturers have made commitments to improve the situation of farmers through projects and certifications. It remains to be seen whether this is really in the foreground or whether the industry primarily wants to preserve the harvest.


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Christina Cherry
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