Child Labor and the Global Cocoa Industry’s Adoption of Certification:
Abstract: The international cocoa industry provides an instrumental case study for analysing how an industry has collectively and individually responded to advocacy attacks. In 2000 the international media published targeted reports that accused the NMEs within the global cocoa industry of supporting child labour and trafficking through lack of governance of their procurement channels. To counter this challenge, industry collectively draw upon the lessons of other sectors and established the Cocoa Industry Protocols – a common set of institutional rules to create more a transparent, responsible and sustainable supply chain - while concurrently attempting to ensure that they incentivized farmer and channel agents to adopt responsible farming practices. Recognizing that the collective efforts had not fully addressed these issues, some leading cocoa processors and manufacturers developed and implemented their own private institutional responses, including certification, farmer field schools and development programs, to address the shortcomings. The more successful private institutions have since been adopted by a majority of the industry. In this paper we analyze the collective and industry responses of the cocoa industry in the development and adoption of public and private institutions to child labour advocacy and the public policy implications of these responses.