In September 2009, the Fairtrade cocoa farmers' co-operative Kuapa Kokoo suspended a small number of its member villages to investigate suspected breaches of Fairtrade standards. This was seven out of 1,300 village societies not seven out of 33, as stated.
Kuapa is leading the way to eliminate the worst forms of child labour in the cocoa industry and has adopted and implemented a robust set of policies including farmer education, school development and liaison with appropriate NGOs. Kuapa did not find evidence of the suspected breaches, but did find two girls not in school staying with relatives on one farm.
Kuapa ensured these girls were enrolled in school and had the uniforms and equipment they needed. There was no evidence of the worst forms of child labour, an action plan was put in place and all seven suspensions have now been lifted.
The Co-op's decision to broaden its sources of Fairtrade cocoa happened well before Panorama aired in March. Retailers and consumers can be assured of the continued high standards of the cocoa supply from Kuapa and the chocolate from Divine Chocolate.
Emmanuel Arthur, executive director, Kuapa Kokoo, and Sophi Tranchell, managing director, Divine Chocolate