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Ferrero still in field against the scourge of child labor

Strategic partnership with Save the Children renewed with a € 8 million project

Achieved the 2020 goal of sourcing 100% certified sustainable cocoa, through independently managed standards

The Ferrero Group continues to pursue and increase the sustainability-oriented efforts of its cocoa as part of the Ferrero Farming Values Cocoa program. Having achieved the goal of sourcing 100% sustainable cocoa through independently managed standards at the end of 2020, Ferrero continues to work to ensure full visibility and traceability of its cocoa along the supply chain and through a system of two - appropriate diligence. The industry has also renewed and extended its strategic partnership with Save the Children, making significant investments to protect children in cocoa communities.

Achieved the 2020 target set for cocoa

In 2011, Ferrero committed to sourcing 100% sustainable cocoa beans by 2020, through independently managed standards, to help improve the living conditions of cocoa farmers and promote sustainable practices. In 2019, the company expanded the scope of this goal to include third-party chocolate. The brand is proud to confirm that it has achieved this goal. In practice, this means that Ferrero sources sustainable cocoa through leading certification bodies and other independently managed standards such as Rainforest Alliance (UTZ), Fairtrade and Cocoa Horizons. This ensures that the company can benefit from their various strengths, enriching its global cocoa sustainability strategy, which is continuously being implemented.

Look ahead

Ferrero's cocoa procurement strategy is based on a series of distinctive principles that allow the company to implement due diligence activities along the supply chain and to apply targeted solutions. It is also able to achieve very high traceability from production farms to final consumers. This is due to Ferrero's distinctive approach which consists of purchasing most of the cocoa in the form of raw beans, which are processed directly in its own factories. The beans are purchased physically traceable - a standard better known as "segregated" - from known groups of farmers. This means that the company knows which farms the cocoa comes from, which helps to identify any problems and drive positive change directly on the spot together with the cooperatives and farmers themselves.

In the 19/20 harvest season, the company was able to trace over 95% of its total cocoa beans back to the farms, and is rapidly advancing in the traceability of third-party chocolate. In addition, it is making significant progress in mapping farmers in their supply chain, as part of the effort to prevent deforestation, and in covering farmer groups with a monitoring system aimed at tackling child labor (Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System or equivalent systems). Another important goal of the Ferrero program is the empowerment of women and the reduction of gender inequality. For example, Ferrero has so far supported around 14,000 members of cocoa-producing communities, mostly women, in accessing small business loans. These initiatives are part of its broader commitment to delivering its sustainability strategy: improving farmers' livelihoods, protecting children's rights and safeguarding the environment.

Ferrero and Save the Children expand the partnership

Ferrero is also committed to further implementing its Ferrero Farming Values Cocoa program, in particular in the protection of children's rights, and announces today that it is renewing and extending the strategic partnership with Save the Children started with the three-year program launched in 2017-2020 in 20 communities in Ivory Coast. The 8 million euro co-financed project is expected to last five years. The intervention provides for the involvement of 37,000 direct beneficiaries and a total of 90,000 people between children and adults who will be reached by awareness-raising activities. This is a major action that is part of the broader commitment promoted by the United Nations in the UN's International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor.

The new phase of the partnership will allow to reach 65 new communities in the Ivorian region of Haut-Sassandra, where Ferrero purchases a significant amount of cocoa. The program, with a holistic methodology, will strengthen child protection systems, increase access to quality education and nutrition, support the development of the whole community and the empowerment of women and adolescents. Ferrero and Save the Children will work in close coordination with national and local institutions and other industry initiatives to create synergies where possible and maximize impact.

A new dimension of the partnership requires Save the Children to provide strategic guidance and technical support to Ferrero and its suppliers, to ensure a harmonious approach aimed at child protection throughout the company's supply chain in the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Marco Gonçalves, Chief Procurement & Hazelnut Company Officer: "We continue to address crucial human rights issues in our supply chains and strengthen our due diligence. However, child labor in cocoa growing communities remains a significant problem, and we are determined to go further to meet the challenge. That is why I am so pleased that we are extending our partnership with Save the Children, with a focus on prevention, in order to increase our impact to address this problem. to drive significant long-term change, not only in our direct supply chain, but beyond".

Daniela Fatarella, General Manager of Save the Children Italy: "Child labor is an important problem in West Africa and has its roots in poverty, in the lack of basic education and awareness, we can succeed in making child protection, access to quality education and the empowerment of adolescents and young people central assets for community development. For this reason, we are delighted to work together with Ferrero and to support the company's commitment to contributing to a fair and sustainable cocoa supply chain by coordinating with relevant actors. Thanks to all these efforts, thousands of children will have significant improvements in their lives".

In addition to working to protect children and communities in its supply chain, Ferrero is a member of collective initiatives such as the International Cocoa Initiative and the Cocoa & Forests Initiative. He also recently joined a campaign calling for the EU to strengthen human rights and the requirements of environmental due diligence of companies in the global cocoa supply chains. The company will report its progress in the Annual Sustainability Report.

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EFA News - European Food Agency