30 May 2017 IDH, through the Sustainable Vanilla Initiative, together with the International Labor Office start the project 'SAVA-BE' in the vanilla sector. A project to supporting sustainable and child labor free vanilla growing communities in Sava.
IDH and the Sustainable Vanilla Initiative initial focus is to supporting the implementation of the Vanilla Code of Conduct through the supply chain.
The US Department of Labor (USDOL) has provided $4 million to the International Labor Office (ILO) to support Madagascar in promoting a sustainable vanilla sector, in particular through promoting decent work and fighting against child labor in the vanilla sector in the SAVA region.
The four year project entitled ‘SAVA-BE: Soutenir les Acteurs de la Vanille au Bénéfice des Enfants’ (supporting sustainable and child labor free vanilla growing communities in Sava) brings together leadership from the international vanilla industry through the Sustainable Vanilla Initiative (SVI) and the Malagasy vanilla sector through the National Vanilla Platform (PNV) to professionalize the vanilla sector and improve the livelihoods of vanilla producing families.
In 2011, a study initiated by the International Labor Office (ILO) indicated the existence of child labor in vanilla production as well as poor living conditions among many vanilla growing households, factors affecting the market for Malagasy vanilla at the global level. Significant actions have been undertaken by the Government of Madagascar and economic operators with the support of the ILO, such as the signature in December 2015 of the Code of Conduct for Combating Child Labor in the Vanilla Sector. The United States Government noted the positive efforts made and the commitments of the national authorities and actors to intensify the actions already undertaken.
This project will build on these efforts by fully implementing the Vanilla Code of Conduct through the supply chain, investing in education about child labor issues, ensuring capable systems for monitoring and addressing child labor issues, and investing in improving the livelihoods of vanilla producing communities including educational and vocational training opportunities for youth.
Addressing the concerns raised about child labor and investing in a more professional and transparent vanilla sector, together with a return to the traditional high quality of Madagascar vanilla, will allow the global market for Madagascar vanilla to grow once again.
All stakeholders including authorities, employers ‘and workers’ organizations, economic operators and civil society will be involved in the implementation of this project for a sustainable vanilla sector, in particular the National Vanilla Platform and the Regional Committee to Fight Against Child Labor (CRLTE).
The official launching ceremony took place on May 18th, 2017 in Sambava (Sava region) and was honored by representatives of the region, the International Labor Office, the Embassy of the United States of America in Madagascar and of all the actors of the world and the vanilla sector of the SAVA Region.