There is no forced child labour in Baures, Bolivia – the home of Oialla’s Beniano cocoa. This is certified and an absolute prerequisite for Oialla to cooperate with local cocoa company, Sumar. The local children are offered free and compulsory primary school and are busy with their studies most of the year. The summer holidays coincide with harvest season and naturally the children help their families during this busy time. Oialla encourages that children participate in their families’ activities – giving a helping hand is important, in order for the families to earn a little extra cash. It is of course imperative, that children do not carry out dangerous or heavy work. The older children help around the house or take care of their younger siblings while the parents work.
The jungle is no place for children
The harvest takes place far from the village of Baures on small islets or “chocolatales” several hours away by boat and miles of hiking. The jungle is a dangerous place and not suitable for children. It is easy to get lost, and the jungle is home to dangerous animals, such as caimans, jaguars, anacondas, snakes and insects. The locals do not even consider sending their children into the jungle.