28 April 2020

Cocoa production : How the Pelle Bongo helps make farmers safer in Côte d’Ivoire

Jonas Assi Yapi, a cocoa farmer and member of a cooperative in Hershey’s supply chain, received Pelle Bongos as part of the Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) to facilitate his work. “I grow a good crop. I am a member of the COOPAF cooperative. That’s why they gave me Pelle Bongos.”

The Pelle Bongo is a new harvesting tool for cocoa farmers that improves security and efficiency of cocoa production. It can replace the machete or baton, traditionally used to break the cocoa pod and extract the beans. It is also a tool that is less sharp than the machete, easier to use than the baton and better adapted to quickly remove the cocoa beans.

 

As part of a partnership between Barry Callebaut and ICI to fight child labour in Hershey’s cocoa supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire, Jonas Yapi Assi received several pelle bongos. He was pleased with them and explained how they facilitate the production of cocoa and the safety of cocoa farmers: “The first time I tried them, I was really happy with them. It’s much better. With the machete you can cut your arm. However, with the pelle bongo, when the pods are opened, you can easily remove the beans. They break the cocoa pod well. Actually, my work is much quicker than with the machete,” he explained.

Efforts to improve the efficiency and safety of producers in the cocoa production process are one way to support them, and thus combat child labour.

The project, a partnership between Barry Callebaut and ICI to better support cocoa farmers in Hershey’s supply chain, started in May 2016 with two cooperatives, then expanded to 14 cooperatives and finally covers 32 cooperatives. Since May 2018, the project entered a second phase to strengthen its activities to better support producers. Activities such as coaching and capacity building of Local Sustainability Coaches and Managers, the implementation of three-phase remediation plans, data analysis and the development, validation and implementation of a fourth remediation plan were all carried out during 2019.

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