Dutch company Catz international BV is an important importer of all kinds of tropical food ingredients, including spices. The company has implemented Responsible Business Conduct Policies aiming to identify and mitigate possible risks in the area of, among other topics, child labour in its supply chains. Together with the Royal Dutch Spices Association (KNSV), Catz has mapped possible child labour risks in its dried ginger supply chain from Nigeria. Local research for this was executed by the Fair Labor Association (FLA). CREM was contracted as project coordinator. In addition, CREM also assisted Catz with the development of an action plan for strengthening its due diligence management.
This initiative in Nigeria will now go to a next phase and Dutch company Verstegen Spices & Sauces and the Nigerian exporter AFEX (current partner of Catz) have joined the consortium. In the next months, two other Nigerian companies will probably also become member of the consortium. In this new project we will also collaborate with the Dutch Centre for the imports from developing countries (CBI) that is currently implementing an Export Coaching program for Nigeria’s ginger sector. FLA will again implement most local activities in Nigeria and CREM will be project coordinator. This new project is co-funded by RVO.
In this new 3-years project Nigerian ginger processors/exporters participating in CBI’s program will receive general due diligence and responsible sourcing training. The three Nigerian consortium members will get ‘tailored’ support to actually develop and implement such policies and related tools. Furthermore, child labour awareness raising campaigns will be executed in two ginger farming communities. These communities will also get support with the development of new Income Generating Activities, the establishment of a Village Saving and Loan Association and implementation of Good Agricultural Practices. A ‘child labour free ginger supply chain’ is the ultimate project goal of such activities. Lessons learned from the project will be incorporated into KNSV’s existing Child Labour Due Diligence Toolkit that was already developed by CREM in the context of another project.
More information: Victor de Lange
Photo: Fair Labor Association