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ACE becomes a full member of VOICE network, a global NGO network on cocoa.

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

As of October 24th, 2022, ACE became a full member of the Voice network, a network of civil society organizations working for the realization of a sustainable cocoa farming and industry. With a secretariat based in the Netherlands, the global network consists of 22 civil society organizations and trade associations (as of October 2022) that work in regions and countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Africa. The Voice network aims to address the challenges facing the cocoa industry, focusing on livelihood income issues (improving farmer incomes), human rights issues, environmental issues and improving transparency and accountability, mainly by making policy recommendations to companies and governments. It also approaches the politics of cocoa producing and consuming countries and the redressing of power relations entrenched within the chocolate industry.

In addition to eliminating child labour from corporate supply chains, ACE aims to eliminate child labour from all cocoa-producing areas of countries such as Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. Based on our knowledge of the SMILE Ghana Project in Ghana, we are convinced that it is important to mobilize key actors on a global level in order to solve child labour in the cocoa industry, in addition to working with stakeholders in Japan. Therefore, we aim to create impact at the global level through collaboration with the Voice network’s member organizations, which also have closer relations with multinationals and country-level actors in Europe. We also want to contribute to knowledge sharing and disseminating the findings from our SMILE Ghana project and the Data Collection Survey on Child Labour and Support for Child Labour Free Zone Pilot Activities with a Focus on the cocoa region in the Republic of Ghana, which was commissioned by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

For this reason, ACE joined the Voice network in October 2021 and has participated in its activities for the first year as an applicant-member, according to the network's regulations. The Voice network's activities are wide-ranging and include the compiling of the Cocoa Barometer, a report that explores the current social challenges facing the cocoa industry and suggests pathways to solutions, information sharing on the latest developments in human rights due diligence policy in various countries, policy recommendations to the EU Human Rights Due Diligence Guidelines, facilitating the dialogue between consumer and producer countries, research on overlooked topics, and more.

As a member of the Voice network, ACE will continue to share knowledge among our members and information exchange among member organizations, explore possibilities for areas of collaboration, and work towards the elimination of child labour through stronger cooperation with our like-minded team around the world.

We look forward to your continued support.

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