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Our visit to a cocoa plantation in Ghana

Every one of us loves chocolate! However, hardly anyone knows exactly how this luxury product is actually produced. The supply chain is relatively intransparent and complex. For us, this was one more reason to get our own picture on-site with cocoa farmers. In March 2023, Raphael and Alex therefore also visited a cocoa plantation during their stay in Ghana. The following questions were on our minds:

What does the cocoa supply chain even look like? What do economic and political decision-makers have to do to better support local people? How can I ensure that there is no child labor among suppliers of cocoa products?

As an ethics consultancy, we have heard questions like these frequently in client projects. Due to legal requirements, expectations of their own stakeholders or, for example, due to the ratification of the UN Global Compact or ESG frameworks, most companies commit to respecting and enforcing human rights standards in their own supply chain. The Supply Chain Act, which came into force in 2023, has legally established human rights standards, including in particular the prohibition of child labor.

However, what this means in concrete terms for suppliers on-site poses greater challenges for many companies.

Here is a brief insight into what we were able to experience in Ghana:

We were impressed by the plantation's efforts to ensure fair working conditions and human rights. It was inspiring to see how the plantation funds education and health programs, helping to improve the lives of people in the region.

It was also an opportunity to speak with workers on the plantation and hear their experiences. We understood their perspectives and concerns and would like to share this knowledge with customers to improve living conditions. Many suggestions for improvement that are discussed in Europe turned out to be unrealistic or even unnecessary. We were able to learn that Ghana is a very progressive and technologically advanced country in many areas.

At iuvenal research, we support the general thrust of the Supply Chain Act and encourage companies to also take further steps to ensure that their own supply chain is compliant and sustainable. We believe that site visits play an important role in gaining a deeper understanding of suppliers' working conditions and living conditions, and in ensuring that all legal and ethical rules are respected.

Our visit to the cocoa plantation in Ghana has inspired and motivated us to continue our commitment to a sustainable and ethical supply chain. Our goal is to use the experience and networks we have gained to include even more targeted improvements for our customers.

If you are interested in more information, we would be very happy to hear from you.


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