The Netherlands-based company Export Trading Group (ETG), a trader and processor of agricultural commodities, has joined ICI in its efforts to better tackle child labour and forced labour in its cocoa supply chains.

Known as a diversified agricultural conglomerate operating across the globe, the company’s portfolio includes cashew nuts, grains, sugar, coffee and cocoa, in addition to agricultural inputs, logistics, merchandising and processing. Its sustainability projects are led by the Beyond Beans Foundation, which works to develop and implement sustainability projects across ETG’s commodity supply chains, in collaboration with partner companies, NGOs and government agencies.

As Andre van den Beld, Head of Sustainability at ETG explained: “ETG and Beyond Beans have been engaged in tackling child labour issues in our supply chains since 2019. We are already implementing child labour monitoring and remediation activities in cocoa communities in line with ICI’s approach, as well as piloting initiatives surrounding bottom-up financial capacity building through Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs), and integrating child protection modules through our VSLA-CHILD methodology. Last year ETG and Beyond Beans also launched a pilot project called EnRoute to explore the impact of intervention bundles and cash transfers on child labour.”  

“We are very happy to now be an official member of ICI and further engage in the partnership on child and forced labour. Through the integrated approach and sector-wide reporting, we believe we can have a greater impact in the cocoa sector as a whole. We look forward to participating in the sharing of knowledge and experience amongst partners, and collaborating on supply chain transparency.  ICI’s work on influencing sector strategies and advocacy on national and international policies on child labour are moreover aspects that we believe are hugely valuable and look forward to participating in,” he said.

For Matthias Lange, Executive Director of ICI, ETG’s membership is an important step forward in the scale-up and integration of effective systems that prevent, identify and address child labour and forced labour in the cocoa sector.

“I look forward to working closely with ETG and the Beyond Beans Foundation. Its experience with multiple agricultural commodities will help us to learn from, and share our experiences with, other sectors, in addition to being able to support the company to strengthen its work in cocoa. ETG’s contributions and participation in our collective research and innovation work and in sharing best practices with the wider sector, will lend important support to our shared journey to tackle child labour and forced labour in cocoa. We look forward to working together with ETG more closely in the future,” he added.