Cocoa trade must do more about child labour
Author: Magdalena Kettis, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) and Anna Pot, APG Asset Management, in Financial Times, Published on: 30 May 2010
The use of child labour in companies’ operations and supply chains is of increasing concern to investors. By preventing children from getting an education, child labour holds back sustainable development…Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) and APG Asset Management have identified child labour as a risk to our long-term investments…There has been a notable shift in what companies focus on in discussions with investors…Companies…show more willingness to take direct responsibility for solving the problem of child labour, in part by buying more cocoa directly from farmers, working to improve social conditions…At the same time, a growing number of consumers are concerned about the quality and origins of chocolate. This is increasing demand for chocolate that is produced and sold through fair-trade agreements…From an investor perspective these developments are positive…It has been nearly 10 years since the industry vowed to eliminate child labour. It needs to make good on that promise.