2024 International Child Labour Day: Farmers urge chocolate companies to act on sustainability commitments

Nankese, Suhum Ghana, June 18, 2024 (ASETENAPA) – Asetenapa Co-operative Cocoa Farming and Marketing Society Limited has organised a health walk and durbar to mark this year’s World Day Against Child Labour in Nankese, Suhum.

The health walk included a call for chocolate companies to act on their sustainability commitments in the cocoa sector.

The commemoration brought together farmers, pupils, regulators, opinion leaders and NGOs working within Ghana’s cocoa value chain.

Today, about 160 million children are still engaged in child labour; Africa ranks highest among regions with about 72 million in child labour.


Isaac Vifa, Manager for Asetenapa Cooperative reiterated that the time has come for Chocolate companies to act on their commitments if they really support the cocoa sustainability campaign on going across the continent.

“We at Asetenapa have leverage on the Tony’s Open Chain’s Special Premium to relief our farmers of equipment, input cost and also made hired labour more accessible by organising, subsidizing and training communal labour groups to support them; we are happy to be implementing the Fairtrade Africa and the International Cocoa Initiative partnership program called CIRCLE project which pays more attention to supporting farmers to observe labour standards to discourage all forms of child labour; we have gathered here at Nankese, to remind ourselves that you and I have a collective responsibility to act on our commitments” he added.

Rianne Van Doeveren, General Manager for Tony’s Open Chain urged the farmers to create an avenue where their children can have regular dialogue with them.

“Tony’s Open Chain is working our beans off to end modern slavery and child labor in your communities; we take direct responsibility for our supply chain to help end exploitation and poverty” she mentioned.


Mike Arthur, Country Director for International Cocoa Initiative, explains that partnership with Asetenapa Co-operative is aimed to help address child labour related issues and increase child protection.

“Our focus is on ensuring a better future for children and on advancing the elimination of child labour in cocoa-growing communities; the cocoa sector’s most salient human rights issues. We are determined to work closely with cooperatives, with all hands on deck to tackle them; hence, the partnership” he added.

Anthony B. Kwakugah, Senior Project Officer for Fairtrade Africa indicated that the fight against eradication of child labour can only be won if cocoa farmers subscribe to what they are been thought at home and on their farmers.

“We implementing the CIRCLE project which would help influence duty bearers in the cocoa growing communities to take up their roles of providing services and safety for children in their schools and communities.

“It’s creating an environment where children can play, learn, and grow while feeling safe, empowered, and secure” he added.


Christiana Tamakloe, Municipal Director for Social Welfare and Community Development used the opportunity to call on sector player working in the cocoa value chain to prioritise issues of child labour and poverty.

“This is the time our children need us more, our parenting styles and behaviours play a critical role in shaping a child’s personality” she stressed.


Mark Ayivor, President for Asetenapa Co-operative used the opportunity to thank Tony’s Open Chain and Fairtrade Africa for their funding support meant to support smallholder cocoa farmers.

“I believe that CIRCLE project would influence duty bearers in the cocoa growing communities to take up their roles of providing services and safety for children in their schools and communities” he said.



Asetenapa Co-operative Cocoa Farming and Marketing Society Limited is a co-operative of smallholder cocoa farmers that operates in 10 communities within the Suhum and Ayensuano districts in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

Their mission is to supply certified cocoa beans to the world market by improving and increasing productivity of farmers through training, ensure gender equality, youth empowerment and child protection, while providing additional livelihood for our members and supporting our communities to develop.

Story by:

Nana Yaw Reuben













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