As one of the world’s largest cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, Archer Daniels Midland Company is committed to responsible cocoa production throughout the world.
Cocoa farmers around the world face many challenges. An estimated one-third of the global cocoa crop is destroyed by pests and disease each year. Many cocoa farmers have limited access to the latest agricultural technologies and planting materials. And few have business training to help them effectively market their product and manage their operations. Beyond economic and operational limitations, many cocoa-farming communities face challenges of poverty and disease. Industry groups, governments and consumers worldwide have raised concerns about pesticide use and child labor on West African cocoa farms.
ADM believes that by working with farmers, grower cooperatives, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia, industry partners and governments, we can help address these issues and improve the lives of cocoa farmers and the communities in which they live.
ADM does not knowingly purchase cocoa beans that have been produced under working conditions that are not consistent with national labor regulations, including those related to child labor. If we discover that a supplier has misrepresented the conditions under which their cocoa bean supply has been produced, we will terminate our contract with that supplier. Our goal is a sustainable cocoa supply chain that brings value to cocoa farming communities, as well as those further along the chain, in accordance with legally and socially acceptable practices. We take our efforts seriously, and we actively develop, support and fund several programs to help eliminate the worst forms of child labor, including:
- ADM Sustainability seminars educate cocoa growers about labor practices, farm safety, HIV/AIDS prevention, operational transparency and product quality.
- ADM’s Socially & Environmentally Responsible Agriculture Practices (SERAP) Program rewards West African and Indonesian cooperatives and farmers committed to implementing sustainable practices. This program seeks to foster collaboration among growers as they work to address social and environmental issues, including agricultural productivity and labor issues.
- The World Cocoa Foundation’s (WCF) African Cocoa Initiative (ACI) is aimed at strengthening local cocoa-related institutions in West Africa. This program follows a multi-year effort by the WCF and others partners, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) which educated thousands of cocoa farmers about labor standards, business practices and farming methods.
- The Cocoa Livelihoods Program—a partnership between ADM, the World Cocoa Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and several industry peers—is investing $40 million to improve the livelihoods of approximately 200,000 cocoa farming families in western Africa.
- The International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), comprised of partners from various stakeholders including governments, industry, organized labor and social advocacy groups was established to oversee and sustain efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor and forced labor in the growing and processing of cocoa beans and their derivative products. The organization works to address many of the root causes of child labor in a holistic, community-based manner.