Markets working to support sustainable development

International Cocoa Initiative

The International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) is a multi-stakeholder partnership between cocoa companies, labour unions and NGOs with the mission ‘to oversee and sustain efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour and forced labour in the growing and processing of cocoa beans and their derivative products’.

It has adopted a programme that:

  • Works at national level to ensure appropriate and effective policies are in place.
  • Supports capacity building for local partners and institutions.
  • Implements a community based programme to change practices.
  • Supports social protection for victims of exploitation.
  • Shares lessons learned for replication.

To achieve, the programme works with local NGOs to implement a number of activities, including: community sensitization, training, support to micro-projects and radio programmes.

Market coverage: 
  • The programme is currently implemented in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire which together account for almost 70 per cent of the world's cocoa production.
  • In 2013, ICI Cocoa Intiative worked directly in 269 communities and contributed to the implementation of 1,097 community development actions in education, health, water and sanitation, child protection and livelihood diversification.
  • Last year we assisted 570,000 people in a total of 720 cocoa-growing communities.
Background information: 

The Harkin/Engel Protocol was signed by governments and representatives of the cocoa industry in September 2001 in Washington D.C, USA. It called for the elimination of the worst forms of child and forced labour in the cocoa industry. It also called for the establishment of a foundation to bring about change – the ICI was established in 2002 under Swiss law, to fulfil this need.

The ICI Secretariat is based in Geneva, Switzerland. It has an 18 member board drawing from all three groups of members. It also has local offices in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and Accra, Ghana. 

Funding source: 

Revenue in 2011 was 3.4 million swiss francs, but it is not clear where this money comes from. 

Notable information: 

In addition to its own programme, ICI is also part of a number of partnerships including the Mars Impact Partnership, Cadbury Cocoa Partnership and the Nestle ECOM ICCO ICI Project.