On the 4th July 2012, CAOBISCO, the association of the chocolate, biscuit and confectionery industries of Europe, and its members* discussed working conditions in hazelnut orchards in Turkey with stakeholders including the government authorities.
CAOBISCO and its members consider conformity with recognised international labour standards, including ILO conventions, in the Turkish hazelnut supply chain as a priority. The proper legal and policy framework including the relevant International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions are in place in Turkey**. Turkish labour legislation has been further strengthened recently to address labour issues in the agricultural sector***.
CAOBISCO and its members are committed to progress with a multi-stakeholder approach including all parties in the hazelnut supply chain. Addressing the root causes of poor labour practices in the Turkish hazelnut sector cannot be achieved by the private sector in isolation and a joint effort of all relevant private and public stakeholders is required under the leadership of the Turkish government.
Under the chairmanship of the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, stakeholders met on the 4th July, to explore how best to advance towards a multi-stakeholder process that is inclusive, constructive and meaningful. The essential objective is to follow the implementation of the Turkish government action plan and to communicate on the effective improvements towards the elimination of child labour in the hazelnut supply chain. CAOBISCO and its members are committed to working in public private partnership to achieve this. The first agreed step in the meeting on the 4th July is to set up a working group that will define the roles and responsibilities of each participant in a multi-stakeholder platform.
* Caobisco Members are 18 National associations in Europe (including 4 observers), 6 Direct Member Companies and 2 affiliated members. CAOBISCO works in close coordination with its Turkish member association ŞEMAD the Turkish Association of Confectionery Manufacturers.
** Background Note on the Turkish Government approach to Eliminating Child labour, improving working conditions and hazelnut sustainability in Turkey.
For further information, please contact: Sabine Nafziger, Secretary General of CAOBISCO (E-mail : sabine.nafziger[at]caobisco.be, Mobile : +32/479/68.01.21)
CAOBISCO has developed Responsible Sourcing Guidelines and is committed to promoting implementation of these Guidelines – through its member companies and their suppliers – in the upstream hazelnut supply chain in Turkey.
Most hazelnuts are grown on small family holdings of around two hectares in size. Turkey is the principal producer accounting for approximately 75% of the global supply. There are around 320,000 orchards in Turkey alone and at harvest time they rely on seasonal migrant labour to pick the crop. In short 8 Million people depend directly or indirectly on hazelnuts. CAOBISCO members do not source directly from these farms but from a small number of suppliers who obtain the nuts via a chain of middlemen.