Fuji Oil, Blommer announce initiatives to combat child labor, deforestation
Companies aim to eliminate child labor, distribute 1M forest tree seedlings by 2030.
The first is a commitment 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 one million 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,” said Hiroshi Shinano, executive officer, Oils & Fats and Chocolate Division for Fuji Oil. “In alignment with our group management philosophy, we view cocoa sustainability as one of our highest priorities. These exciting initiatives create concrete targets in line with our ‘Responsible Cacao Sourcing Policy’ which was announced in 2018.”
Fuji Oil and Blommer, through their Sustainable Origins program, has established child labor monitoring and remediation systems (CLMRS) in 97 percent of their direct supply chain. In delivering on the commitment to eliminate the WFCL, Fuji Oil and Blommer will 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.
Given the importance of access to quality education in addressing child labor issues, Fuji Oil and Blommer intend 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. Fuji Oil and Blommer are pleased to join other industry partners in this collaborative effort.
In addition, and expanding on current programs in Cote d’Ivoire and Ecuador, Fuji Oil and Blommer will establish a new sustainability program in Ghana incorporating the same multi-tiered approach. The program will supply beans and products to Europe, Asia and the U.S.
Aligned with Fuji Oil’s deforestation policies for Palm and Blommer’s activities under the Cocoa and Forests Initiative, a landscape model approach will be used in the distribution of the one million seedling target. Early stages of the program will target Cote d’ Ivoire and Ghana.
Additional regions of the supply chain will be considered in later years. Varieties will be selected with the purpose of providing alternative income sources for communities along with the benefit of reestablishing the forest canopy.
“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.”