Access to resources for education as well as technical skills development is inconsistent – if not wholly unavailable – in many places around the world. This denies people the opportunity to improve their economic conditions and can keep children out of school and at risk of child labour. Needs can range from reading and writing to the operation of business management and planning. Every culture is different, as is every community.
As with our other material areas, we have set ourselves some challenging goals. The value of supporting education and skills development is however far reaching and difficult to measure. Read about some of our initiatives and milestone achievements in the latest annual report.
We take the issue of child labor very seriously. That is why, as part of our Cocoa Compass sustainability ambition, ofi has set goals to eliminate child labor from our cocoa supply chain by 2030.
We have established service centres from which farmers can receive advice. In addition, we support farmers through digital channels. We provided agronomy advice to 5.57 million farmers through our apps in 2021.
We offer vocational training, peer education and scholarships to our farming communities, including special programmes for women. We tailor the content of the training to meet local community needs. We engaged almost 100,000 individuals in vocational training last year, of which almost 40% were women.
Whether as part of an intrinsic desire for mastery, a curiosity to explore new areas, or a development need for an existing or future role, we ensure our employees have a broad range of opportunities to learn in a format which suits them.
We are committed to creating employment opportunities for local talent. We are facilitating the transfer of skills from expats to national employees to support our localisation agenda. For example in our palm operations in Gabon, the number of nationals in estate manager positions increased to 58% in 2021, with a further 32% of critical positions held by local talent.
We supply school materials and equipment, and invest in infrastructure for various farming communities around the world.