Matthias Lange has been appointed ICI’s new Executive Director as Nick Weatherill departs after ten years at the head of the organization.

“As Nick steps down after ten years of excellent leadership, I would like to thank him on behalf of the organization, its staff and its members, for the dedication and passion he has brought to our Foundation over the past decade,” said ICI Co-President Isabelle Adam.

“Under his leadership, ICI’s impact on cocoa-farming families and its ability to drive change in the sector, have been significantly strengthened. Nick’s commitment to consensus building and multi-stakeholder collaboration has seen ICI grow and expand its reach, helping to bring in many new voices from civil society, industry, and cocoa farmers themselves,” added Mil Niepold, fellow ICI Co-President.

Over the last ten years, the organization has worked with its members and partners to develop effective systems to tackle child labour in the cooca sector, such as Community Development interventions and Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS). These approaches have been adopted by many players in the sector, including as part of their expanding human rights due diligence work, and evidence shows they contribute to reducing child labour by around 30% in the communities targeted. In recent years, ICI has increasingly focused on collective learning, innovation and research, on topics such as quality education, the impact of income on child labour, and forced labour, to help the sector at large better understand these issues, adopt good practices and continuously improve systems and processes.

“I am immensely proud to have served ICI and its stakeholders over the last decade. By bringing all actors together and building consensus, we have achieved a great deal. We now know much more about what works to tackle child labour in the cocoa sector, and we are seeing significant scale-up of these effective practices. Of course, much remains to be done, but I am absolutely confident that Matthias will motivate the investment and effort required to drive this incredibly important work forward at an even greater pace,” said Nick Weatherill on his departure.

Matthias Lange has been with ICI since 2012, most recently as Director of Operations and Strategy. Before joining the organisation he spent ten years in West Africa and at the headquarters of the French Government and the European Commission, where he managed international development and humanitarian aid programmes in the areas of food security and nutrition.

For Matthias, ICI’s strong foundations, extensive network, experience, and increasing body of research and evidence makes it well placed to tackle the challenges ahead. “I am honoured, and humbled, by the task at hand and the responsibilities ahead. Thanks to Nick’s leadership, our organization has a strong foundation and a clear vision for the future, and I am grateful to know that I can count on the commitment of talented staff and of dedicated members and partners, to continue to improve the lives of children and their families in cocoa-growing communities. I look forward to continuing the great work Nick has started, building on these strong foundations, and working towards our collective vision of thriving cocoa-growing communities within a dignified, sustainable and responsibly managed cocoa-supply chain.”

Matthias takes on the role of Executive Director of ICI on November 30, 2021.