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Nestlé Announces Innovative Plan To Tackle Child Labor Risks, Increase Farmer Income And Achieve Full Traceability In Cocoa

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COCOA FARMER

“Our goal is to have an additional tangible, positive impact on a growing number of cocoa-farming families, says Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO

Rashidat Olushola Okunlade Writes

Nestlé today announced a new plan to tackle child labor risks in cocoa production. At the center is an innovative income accelerator program, which aims to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farming families, while also advancing regenerative agriculture practices and gender equality.

A cash incentive will be paid directly to cocoa-farming households for certain activities such as enrollment of children in school and pruning among several others.

Nestlé’s new plan also supports the company’s work to transform its global sourcing of cocoa to achieve full traceability and segregation for its cocoa products. As Nestlé continues to expand its cocoa sustainability efforts, the company plans to invest a total of CHF 1.3 billion by 2030, more than tripling its current annual investment.

The online event will take place today 27th of January, from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM CET. It will explore the challenges faced by cocoa farmers and families and how Nestle plans to help address the root causes of child labor by focusing on living income, supply chain traceability, and impactful collaboration.

Participants will hear live from Nestlé’s CEO Mark Schneider as well as high-level Ivorian government representatives and key partners. We will provide detailed information on Nestlé’s new plan and goals to tackle the challenges, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions. More details on the agenda and speakers will follow shortly.

Click here to join in the conversation, please RSVP by completing this form.

The income accelerator program (pdf, 11Mb) offers a novel approach to help support farmers and their families in their transition to more sustainable cocoa farming. The incentives will encourage behaviors and agricultural practices that are designed to steadily build social and economic resilience over time. With Nestlé’s new approach, cocoa-farming families will now be rewarded not only for the quantity and quality of cocoa beans they produce but also for the benefits they provide to the environment and local communities. These incentives are on top of the premium introduced by the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana that Nestlé pays and the premiums Nestlé offers for certified cocoa. This cocoa is independently audited against the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard, promoting the social, economic, and environmental well-being of farmers and local communities.

The event will take place today, January 27th, from 3:00 pm-4:30 pm CET, and you can simply join by clicking here.

Cocoa-farming communities face immense challenges, including widespread rural poverty, increasing climate risks, and a lack of access to financial services and basic infrastructures like water, health care, and education. These complex factors contribute to the risk of child labor on family farms. Together with partners, including governments, and building on a promising pilot program, Nestlé’s new initiative sharpens focus on these root causes of child labor.

“Our goal is to have an additional tangible, positive impact on a growing number of cocoa-farming families, especially in areas where poverty is widespread and resources are scarce, and to help close the living income gap they face over time,” said Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO.

“Building on our longstanding efforts to source cocoa sustainably, we will continue to help children go to school, empower women, improve farming methods and facilitate financial resources. We believe that, together with governments, NGOs, and others in the cocoa industry, we can help improve the lives of cocoa farming families and give children the chance to learn and grow in the safe and healthy environment they deserve.”

Creating cash incentives to grow income substantially

The program rewards practices that increase crop productivity and help secure additional sources of income, which aim to close the gap to living income and help protect children. By engaging in these practices, families can additionally earn up to CHF 500 annually for the first two years of the program. The higher incentive at the start will help accelerate the implementation of good agricultural practices to build future impact. This incentive will then be leveled at CHF 250 thereafter as the program starts delivering tangible results. It is not paid based on the volume of cocoa sold and is inclusive to provide smaller farmers meaningful support, leaving no one behind. In a departure from normal practice, the program also offers financial incentives for the farmer’s spouse, who is typically responsible for household expenses and childcare. By dividing the payments between the farmer and the spouse, the program helps empower women and improve gender equality. Examples of practices that Nestlé is incentivizing include:

  • School enrollment for all children in the household ages 6-16;
  • Implementing good agricultural practices, such as pruning, which increase crop productivity;
  • Performing agroforestry activities to increase climate resilience, like planting shade trees;
  • Generating diversified incomes, for example through growing other crops, raising livestock such as chickens, beekeeping or processing other products like cassava.


Payments will be delivered via a secure mobile service transfer that will ensure traceability directly from Nestlé suppliers to the intended recipient. Because cash flow throughout the year is often a challenge, cash incentives will be distributed when they are needed most. Based on feedback from farmers, this includes the back-to-school period and before the rainy season. Third parties, including International Cocoa Initiative and Rainforest Alliance, will work with Nestlé to monitor participation.

Helping farmers implement sustainable, scalable practices

Building on the positive results of an initial pilot in 2020 with 1,000 farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, in 2022 Nestlé will expand the program to include 10,000 families in the country, before extending it to Ghana in 2024. It will then assess the results of that test phase and adapt where necessary, before moving to reach all cocoa-farming families in its global cocoa supply chain by 2030.

Nestlé will help ensure farmers have the resources, training, and social and financial structures to make lasting changes by:

  • Enhancing the existing monitoring and remediation system to help identify, prevent and address child labor risk and increase school enrollment;
  • Offering families training through the Gender Action Learning System and on household financial planning and entrepreneurship;
  • Organizing and training local groups to perform pruning and other beneficial agricultural tasks within a given cooperative each year;
  • Providing income diversification opportunities for farmers and their spouses;
  • Helping set up Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA), focused on women, to encourage savings and provide loans for small business opportunities.


Feedback and input from farmers and farmer cooperatives, as well as ongoing data collection and evaluation by third parties, will be used to inform, modify and improve the program as it scales up to more communities. In addition, independent oversight will be provided by a multi-stakeholder strategic advisory committee managed by IDH-The Sustainable Trade Initiative, a leading foundation that works to improve the sustainability of international supply chains.

Tracing all cocoa from origin to factory

As part of the program, Nestlé will transform the global sourcing of cocoa to achieve full traceability and segregation of its cocoa products from origin to factory. This new effort will help transform the supply chain of Nestlé and the broader industry. Nestlé will introduce a range of products with cocoa sourced from this innovative program, offering consumers the opportunity to support the improvement of the families’ livelihoods and the protection of children. This will start with a selection of KitKat products in 2023.

“Our actions can help catalyze change on an important topic that is so close to our hearts. They will drive accountability and transparency across the industry, at a time when customers, employees, and communities increasingly expect companies to deliver on their shared values,” said Magdi Batato, Executive Vice President and Head of Operations. “By increasing traceability at scale, we will help build consumer trust in our products and respond to the growing demand for responsibly and sustainably sourced cocoa.”

Today’s announcement builds on Nestle’s longstanding efforts to tackle child labor risks in cocoa production. The company has invested in sustainability through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan since 2009. Through a robust monitoring and remediation system (pdf, 3Mb) instituted since 2012, 149,443 children have been assisted to protect them against the risk of child labor, and 53 schools have been built or refurbished. This system is now the industry standard by which companies monitor their supply chains.

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Top 50 Brands: Dangote Emerges Most Valuable For Fifth Consecutive Year

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World Water Day: Dangote, Others Make Case For GroundWater Protection

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), has emerged as the Most Valuable Brand in Nigeria for a record 5th year in a row at the outcome of the 2022 corporate brand evaluation, conducted by the leading brand and marketing research firm, TOP 50 BRANDS NIGERIA.

Dangote emerged top with an aggregate score of 83.7 Brand Strength Measurement (BSM) Index score. This is followed by MTN, Globacom, and Access Bank in fourth place.

Others among the top 10 are Airtel Nigeria, Coca-Cola, Zenith Bank, GTCO, First Bank, and UBA at fifth to tenth positions respectively.

The annual top brands’ evaluation report which is now like a report card, with which top corporate brands have an independent opinion about their brand performance, from the consumers’ points of view has also become a sort of ‘bragging’ right and a source of pride for the brands that made the top 50 league table, particularly, those that took the lead.

In a press statement released after the public presentation, the rating firm said “The annual top brand evaluation is a qualitative, non-financial estimation of the value of top corporate brands in the country. A measure of consumers’ perceptions and how positive or otherwise towards a brand, and how this affects its overall strength, using the Brand Strength Measurement (BSM)index, a model that tests a brand’s ability to deliver on its promise to the consumers from the consumers’ points of view.

Chief Corporate Communications and Branding officer of Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina said: “Dangote’s emergence, for the fifth year consecutively, did not come as a surprise to industry watchers. The brand has steadily increased its influence in many African nations through the establishment of cement factories. It operates in about 13 African nations making it one of the most visible, recognized, and admired brands in Africa”

In his address to the owners and promoters of the top brands, TOP 50 BRANDS NIGERIA CEO, Taiwo Oluboyede said, “Brand has become a critical differentiator that helps consumer’s choice and also separates the top corporate organisations from the others and even much more. It is also consumers’ buying choice justification” He likened the task of building a formidable and continuously strong brand to a flower, he said “When you plant a flower, you keep watering and pruning it to grow and until it blossoms, and this you do for its lifetime” If you omit or forget to prune or water, regardless of how beautiful it is at the beginning, it dies. The same is applicable to brands. That is why we have seen brands that dropped from the 50-league table in recent times, while new ones emerge.”

He said further “So, the responsibility lies with the owners and promoters to consistently maintain compelling propositions and live up to their promises. As we all know, it’s not just about making a proposition, but living up to its demands and consistently so. This is what makes a top brand.”

For the 2022 evaluation, Nigerian-owned brands again dominated the top 10, with 7 brands. Dangote leading the pack, followed by Globacom, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, GTCO, First Bank and UBA

Five brands among the top ten are banks while 3 are telecoms. Nine of the top ten were among the top 10 last year, with Access Bank making a dramatic leap to fourth place, effectively topping the Banking and Financial Services Categories.

Four brands, maintained their previous year’s position among the top 10, while six of the top 10 had maintained top 10 positions for 7 years consecutively. Overall, 28 or 56 per cent of the 50 Brands are multinational brands, while 22 or 44 percent are Nigerian. PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc emerged as the highest gainer this year by moving up 10 places, from 38 last year to 28th position. Rite Foods, another Nigerian brand emerged as the first entrant into the annual brand ranking this year.

Fifteen (15) brands maintained their 2021 position- these are (Dangote, MTN Nigeria, Globacom, First Bank, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Guinness Nig Plc, Nigerian Breweries, Seven-up Bottling Company, Julius Berger, FMN Plc, Chi Limited, Oando Plc, Energies, P&G, Axa-Mansard and TGI.

Furthermore, the Banking & Financial Services category had the highest entries with – 11 brands, that is, 22%.  Access Bank topped the category, and consumer goods followed with – 8 brands. That is 16%. Dufil Prima Foods topped the list.

Conglomerates had 7 brands. that is 14% with Dangote Group on top, beverages came at fourth place with 6 brands. That is 12%. Coca-Cola topped the category, Oil & Gas and the Insurance categories had 3 brands each, amounting the 6% each. Oando Plc and AIICO Insurance topped them respectively and electronics, mass media, and Building & Construction Services returned with 2 brands each which is 4% for each. Samsung, Multichoice, and Julius Berger topped their respective categories.

Meanwhile, agriculture and automobile have 1 brand each, an equivalent of 2% of the total top brands. Olam International and Toyota Nigeria topped their individual group.

In his contribution to the annual top brands’ evaluation, Mr. Olufemi Awoyemi, Chairman Proshare Nigeria said “First, it is commendable to see that in the evaluation process used in ranking the brands, professionals such as Chief Marketing Officers and Head of Corporate Communications and Reputation Managers. Eight (8) companies listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) made the list of the top 10 brands in Nigeria. With the thorough evaluation process and degree of attention to detail evident in the report, the list indeed provides a true and fair representation of top brands by strength, popularity, and potential in Nigeria.

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BIC Partners With Afropop Star Yemi Alade 

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BIC Partners with Afropop Star Yemi Alade

Partnership with African Artist, Singer, and Education Advocates to Drive Cultural, Educational, and Brand Initiatives in the Region

Olushola Okunlade Writes

BIC, a world leader in stationery, lighters, and shavers, announced its partnership with Nigerian Afropop star, songwriter, actress, and education advocate Yemi Alade.

The partnership, facilitated by Trace Studios, kicked off during the Back-to-School season in West Africa with the debut of the third installment in BIC’s original video series, Get A Pen You Can Rely On, which highlights the importance of having high-quality and reliable writing products both inside and outside the classroom.

The partnership includes additional education-based initiatives to be announced that will unfold throughout the season, furthering BIC’s commitment to improving learning conditions for 250 million students by 2025. Together with BIC, Alade will tap into her extensive experience as an artist and advocate to inspire self-expression, creativity, and a passion for learning in young Nigerian and West African students.

“As a Nigerian, education enthusiast, and a Victory Grammar School and University of Lagos graduate, I am ecstatic about the upcoming initiatives with BIC that aim to develop and shed light on the importance of education in Nigeria and West Africa”, said Alade. “Partnering with BIC on this campaign was purposeful and fun, as I continue to aim to positively impact upcoming generations.”

Commenting on the campaign, Guillaume Groues, General Manager at BIC Nigeria, said: “We are extremely proud to be working with Yemi on our new Back-to-School campaign, an exciting and first-of-its-kind collaboration in West Africa for BIC. Her passion for education and experience as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme makes Yemi an ideal partner. With her help, we look forward to fostering a love for education this Back-to-School season in Nigeria and beyond.”

BIC has demonstrated its commitment to education through various initiatives including Global Education Week; the BIC Cristal Pen Awards; partnership with Enactus; and its ongoing work through the company’s philanthropic arm, the BIC Corporate Foundation. The partnership with Yemi Alade in West Africa is an extension of BIC’s commitment to education and to its investment in West Africa, particularly Nigeria, Africa’s biggest market and most young and dynamic population.

For previous videos related to the Get a Pen You Can Rely On campaign, click here and here. For the latest videos featuring Yemi Alade, click here and here.

About BIC: A world leader in stationery, lighters, and shavers, BIC brings simplicity and joy to everyday life. For more than 75 years, the Company has honored the tradition of providing high-quality, affordable, essential products to consumers everywhere. Through this unwavering dedication, BIC has become one of the most recognized brands and is a trademark registered worldwide. Today, BIC products are sold in more than 160 countries around the world and feature iconic brands such as BIC ® Kids, BICFlexTM, BodyMarkTM by BIC ®, Cello®, Djeep ®, Lucky ® Stationery, Rocketbook ®, Soleil®, Tipp-Ex®, Us.TM, Wite-Out®, Inkbox TM, and more. In 2021, BIC’s Net Sales were 1,831.9 million euros. The Company is listed on “Euronext Paris,” which is part of the SBF120 and CAC Mid 60 indexes and is recognized for its commitment to sustainable development and education. It received an A- Leadership score from CDP. For more, visit about.bic.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube

About Yemi Alade: Yemi Alade is a Nigerian Afropop singer, songwriter, actress, and activist. She won the MTV African Music Awards for Best Female in 2015 and 2016 consecutively and was nominated for Artiste of the Year in 2015, making her the first female to win the MAMAs for Best female consecutively twice and nominated for Artiste of the Year. In 2015, Alade was the first African female to be nominated for the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) and She was nominated for the BET awards for Best International Act: Africa in 2015 and 2016. Yemi is also applauded for her creative and overwhelming stage performances, fashion, and music videos, She has won The Headies Award for Best Performer twice, 2018 and 2019. The slot was initiated at The Headies 2018 and she was the first artiste to win the category.

Yemi Alade has engaged in advocacy programs over the years of her music career.

On 7 November 2018, Alade visited her secondary school Victory Grammar School, Ikeja where she also engaged in charity work. In 2020, Alade joined the United Nations Development Programme to speak for the protection and aid of poor people across Africa affected by the coronavirus pandemic.[1 On 23 September 2020, Yemi Alade was appointed a Goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) by the organization’s administrator Achim Steiner. She pledged with the UNDP that her focus on Sustainable Development Goals would be on inequality, empowering women, and creating awareness of the impact of global climate change.

About Trace TV: Launched in 2003 and originating from an iconic magazine, Trace has grown into an Afro Urban cultural entertainment force with 350 million fans and a mission to empower and uplift young people globally. Trace media, digital, entertainment and education platforms are available in 180 countries and are segment leaders in Africa, Brazil, France, Brazil, the UK, the Caribbean, and the Indian Ocean. More about Trace:  www.TRACE.COMPANY.

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Dangote Sugar Commits Billions To CSR Schemes In Adamawa, Nasarawa 

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Dangote Sugar Commits Billions To CSR Schemes In Adamawa, Nasarawa

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc (DSR) has scaled up its social intervention programs around host communities in Adamawa and Nasarawa States where its Backward Integration projects are located.   

The Group is investing hugely in raw sugar production as part of the Federal Government Sugar Master Plan. 

This is coming on the back of $500m that has so far been injected into the project in Nasarawa.   

National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) has developed a road map for the realization of self-sufficiency in the sugar sector within a short time. Thus, the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) gave birth to Sugar’s Backward Integration Policy (BIP).   

Billions of naira have been expended in social intervention schemes around the communities hosting DSR Numan in Adamawa, and Tunga Sugar Project in Nasarawa.   

The company said with 78,000 hectares of farmland in Nasarawa, and 32,000 hectares in Adamawa, it is creating thousands of employment opportunities for Nigerians.   

Currently, over 600 workers are being engaged, while 90MW is to be generated in the Dangote Sugar Project in Tunga, Nasarawa State.  

The Dangote Group is the second largest employer of labour after the federal government.   

While speaking at a recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company, the Chairman of Dangote Sugar Refinery, Aliko Dangote, noted that Nigeria could rake in foreign exchange of up to $700 million yearly from the BIP scheme.  

He warned that the BIP scheme must be protected to insulate the Nigerian economy and create jobs.  

“If the national sugar master plan is followed strictly and the players follow the rules, the country will be better for it as Nigeria will save between $600 million and $700 million annually as forex,” he said.  

A statement from the Corporate Communication Department of the company said when the factory is fully operational; it would have the capacity to crush 12,000 tons of cane per day,   

Some of the Corporate Social Responsibility projects executed include the provision of blocks of classrooms, scholarship, water scheme, rehabilitation and opening up of road network, and construction of health center, among others.   

Minister for Industry, Trade, and Investment Otunba Niyi Adebayo who was on a working tour of the Dangote’s expansive Savannah Sugar Company (SSCL) Ltd in Numan, Adamawa State, and the Tunga sugar project site in Nasarawa State, had described the projects as “huge, impressive and amazing.”  

The Minister said: “It’s a very impressive sight.  It’s amazing that such a project exists in this place. What we’ve seen so far from all the plantations we’ve been to is very impressive. We are impressed with the level of work they are doing.”  

In the same vein, in the DSR Numan, the company is not resting on its oars.   

In 2020, the company constructed multimillion-naira blocks of classrooms, administration blocks, and an examination hall.   

DSR Numan has also intervened in the provision of electricity through the donation of 300KVA to the Gyawana Community, as well as the donation of a 27KVA Generator to the Lamurde Community.   

The company has also instituted an out-grower scheme in DSR Numan, of which 294 people have so far benefited.    

Its intervention in the area of road infrastructure has been very huge, some of which include: the rehabilitation of the Gyawana-Lamurde road, Gyawana-Zekun road  

Gyawana Township road, the rehabilitation of Dubwangun road, and the rehabilitation of Opalo-Zekun roads, among others.   

The company has also doled out financial support to youth, religion, and development-based groups in Adamawa State.   

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