World Education Day | January 24, 2021
Kilchberg, January 24, 2021 - Lindt & Sprüngli is committed to school education in Ghana, the origin from which the chocolate company sources the majority of its cocoa beans. On today's World Education Day, it is time for Lindt & Sprüngli to present the challenges, findings and results of this commitment.
In Ghana, child labor and lack of education are strongly linked. Low farm incomes are cited as one of the main reasons for child labor. A direct consequence of this is a lack of education. Lindt & Sprüngli addresses this challenge in the long term and with a holistic approach. The own sustainability model for cocoa beans - the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program - accordingly pursues overarching goals:
- Higher productivity of farms and at the same time, conservation of biodiversity and natural ecosystems
- Diversified incomes and increased resilience of farmers and their families
- Reduction of the risk of child labor
- Improved community infrastructure
This article shows how Lindt & Sprüngli aims to reduce the risk of child labor. A first important step is to actively promote awareness and, at the same time, sensitize farmers to child labor and how it can be prevented. For example, Lindt & Sprüngli offers trainings in its own Farming Program that enable farmers to distinguish between appropriate and light work that may be performed by children in a family context and dangerous work that is prohibited for children.
A second step is to identify severe cases of child labor. This is possible through on-site Program managers, who conduct announced as well as unannounced visits to farms. Not only cases on the cocoa farms are identified and documented, but also those that go beyond the farm level, as for example child labor in cocoa warehouses.
"In Ghana, the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program is currently supporting the construction of 29 schools. Once completed, 3,034 children are expected to benefit. This helps to reduce the risk of child labor directly."
The third step is to eliminate child labor. The Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program aims to find local solutions, which are agreed upon with the parents of children involved in child labor activities. When cases are discovered, discussion is sought with parents, admonishments are issued if necessary, or advice and awareness training is provided to promote change. It is important that parents understand that the reason they do not send their children to work is because it is dangerous.
Additionally, Lindt & Sprüngli is committed to encourage families to prioritize their children's school attendance rather than having them work on farms during school hours. Through the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, 29 schools are currently under construction. This will also increase the enrollment capacity of existing schools to provide educational opportunities for more than 3,034 children in the communities each year.