Sustainable Living is one of the two pillars of Purdys' Sustainable Cocoa Program. Sustainable Living supports the building of community schools, the development of better healthcare systems, and Child Sensitization Training to ensure a child's education is a community priority and that children are never placed in an unsafe situation.
Purdys' Sustainable Living pillar is supported by programming and support services focused on improving the living standards and communities of cocoa farmers and their families. It includes:
Purdys believes strongly in supporting women and girls in cocoa growing communities. Through our work with Winrock and the World Cocoa Foundation, we have supported projects that help single mothers and their families and empower women in business.
Through Purdys' Sustainable Cocoa Program, we are able to support more programs that empower women and girls. Women in cocoa growing communities benefit from learning better food growing techniques, chicken rearing, and business, literary and numeracy skills. They also attend Farmer Field Schools to learn how to grow healthier, better cocoa crops which lead to better incomes for their families.
Child sensitization training for the entire community is also made a priority. This ensures girls' education is a focus, and that no child is placed in an unsafe situation or one where they may encounter forced labour.
Purdys and our farmer partners have a zero-tolerance policy for any instance of human trafficking or forced labour.
Purdys believes in responsible and ethical labour practices in all instances. This belief extends not only to our teams in our shops, support office, warehouse and factory kitchen, but to our farmer co-op partners too. While it is not uncommon for younger family members to assist on a family cocoa farm in rural West Africa, forced labour, exploitation and dangerous conditions are unacceptable.
Purdys believes the key to eliminating and alleviating poverty is to increase farmer incomes, develop community infrastructure and provide education opportunities for all children. These key areas are addressed via education programs such as Farmer Field Schools, business loans for farmers, building schools for children and supporting community infrastructure development. Under the Sustainable Living pillar of Purdys' Sustainable Cocoa program, child sensitization training is a vital component of community education and dialogue.
Purdys is proud of the impact our partnership with Winrock has had on many cocoa growing communities in West Africa. We are now at the next stage of our evolution: moving from development work to supporting only the co-operatives that meet the pillars of Purdys' Sustainable Cocoa Program. Interest-free loans will continue to be granted (and repaid) to farmer co-operatives participating in, and meeting the requirements of sustainability programs. Purdys will continue to be a member of the World Cocoa Foundation.