In a statement the manufacturer of plant-based food solutions for use in industrial chocolate said its first commitment is to eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor (WFCL) in the company’s cocoa supply chain by 2025 and, ultimately, to eliminate all forms of child labor as defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO) by 2030.
The second is a commitment to distribute 1,000,000 forest tree seedlings by 2030 to areas deforested as a result of cocoa farming.
“We are excited to announce the first major cocoa sustainability initiatives resulting from the collaboration between Fuji Oil and Blommer Chocolate. In alignment with our group management philosophy, we view cocoa sustainability as one of our highest priorities,” said Hiroshi Shinano, executive officer, Oils & Fats and Chocolate Division for Fuji Oil.
“These exciting initiatives create concrete targets in line with our ‘Responsible Cacao Sourcing Policy’ which was announced in 2018.”
'A multi-tiered strategy'
Fuji Oil and Blommer, through their Sustainable Origins program, has established child labor monitoring and remediation systems (CLMRS) in 97% of their direct supply chain. The partnership plans to expand the CLMRS activity to include the remainder of their cocoa bean and product supply chain as ‘part of a multi-tiered strategy which will also include polygon mapping, women’s empowerment and access to education’.
“Building upon our long history of leadership in cocoa sustainability, these initiatives represent an important new phase in our work to improve the livelihoods of the communities involved in our cocoa supply chain,” said Kip Walk, senior director, corporate sustainability for Blommer.
“It is essential that we protect the welfare of the children living in the cocoa growing communities, as well as work to preserve and restore the forest environments.”
Fuji Oil and Blommer have also announce their intention to join two new initiatives led by the Jacobs Foundation. The first initiative, Child Learning and Education Facility (CLEF), aims to reach 5 million children and 10 million parents in cocoa growing areas and beyond, focusing on access to quality primary education.
The second initiative, also based in Cote d’Ivoire, is the Early Learning and Nutrition Facility (ELAN). ELAN is designed to provide quality services and training in early childhood development and nutrition to 1.3 million children below the age of 5 and their caregivers.