Improve prosperity

ECOM is helping farmers invest in secure, resilient businesses that empower them, their families and their communities to lead dignified and prosperous lives.


Improve Prosperity

ECOM's commitments to our farmers and workers are:
  • Empowering farmers, workers and their communities to optimise their profitability and ultimately remove poverty

  • Eliminating breaches of human rights through proper risk identification and remediation

ECOM is working with several partners to carry out living income baseline analysis across every touchpoint of our supply chains. Once we understand the current status, we can then plan projects and activities to improve workers’ incomes. Already, our work on the cost of production and improving productivity is improving livelihoods at farm level.

Across the ECOM Group, we have a portfolio of projects covering more than 600,000 farmers, with a network of 1500 field agronomists and staff.

Areas for strategic focus

Assessing the risks

ECOM does not tolerate child or forced labour in our supply chains and we believe that farmers can and should be given the support to uphold globally recognised human rights, including safe and fair workplaces.

We have developed a set of policies that align with leading international standards, including: The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights; The International Labour Organisation core labour standards, conventions 182 (worst forms of child labour) and 138 (minimum age); Applicable laws governing child labour, slavery, forced or compulsory labour, and human trafficking.

Read our Modern Slavery Statement here

What this means in practice


Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) is currently the foundation of child protection programmes. It is a trusted system allowing for the identification and monitoring of child labour incidences, and reducing the cases found through that monitoring. However, ECOM recognises the limitations of individual household monitoring systems in terms of prevention and its ability to solve a systemic issue. We believe that focusing on protecting and providing an environment where children can develop and learn should be a central part of our strategy to mitigate the risks of child labour and will support transformative change.

Working with experts

We currently serve on the global advisory council for the Farm Labour Due Diligence Toolkit, a Verité led collaborative initiative to define good practice and create open-source resources for companies, suppliers and other stakeholders to eliminate labour abuses in global agricultural supply chains. We are looking to evaluate those resources and define our priorities for our cocoa, coffee, and cotton supply chain and potentially test/pilot the resources.

Prioritising education

Alianza de Sueños (Dream Alliance) is a project that seeks to protect the children of coffee pickers who come to the AAA farms during the harvest season to avoid child labor. Having many children on AAA farms, it became necessary to look for alternatives that would allow the project to expand. This is how the opportunity to create Casas de la Alegría (Houses of Joy) in the coffee farms was born.

Living income gap analysis

The concept goes beyond traditional notions of poverty alleviation that are concerned with basic subsistence and survival. It puts a strong emphasis on earning enough income to afford a decent standard of living for all household members allowing for a higher resilience towards unexpected shocks.

As we recognize living income as a basic human right, we have committed to establishing a living income gap analysis in our origin sourced supply chain complete with action plans to close the identified gaps in an effort to formalize our approach going forward.

What this means in practice

Nestlé Income Accelerator Program (IAP)

In 2022, we piloted the Nestlé Income Accelerator Program (IAP) with two of our partner co-operatives in Côte d’Ivoire, to help farmers in cocoa-farming communities close the living income gap and secure additional sources of income. The programme aims to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices at farm and household level by enabling and incentivising these practices. It has four clear objectives: (1) Increased adoption of pruning among participating farmers, (2) 100% of children aged between 6 and 16 in IAP attend school, (3) Promotion of agroforestry through the distribution and planting of multipurpose trees, (4) IAP farmers optimise their income from additional activities.

Enabling income diversification

We are committed to ensuring a dynamic and sustainable future for farmers and to implementing a comprehensive set of initiatives to tackle the financial health of our farmers from multiple sides. We are providing training in efficient techniques and capital investment for new tools that can empower women and youth in farming communities with skills to help diversify family incomes.

Making farm equipment affordable

Innovations in agriculture are helping farmers rapidly transition to new and more productive processes, but for many farmers, financial constraints can put these developments out of reach. At ECOM, our package of measures to engage with and improve life for farmers and their families includes: developing resilience through tailored training on new technologies; farm renovation and rehabilitation; providing digital support in the form of accessible, app-based platforms; making farm equipment affordable with low-cost machinery, flexible payment choices and post-purchase training.


gender disparities

Even though many women participate in farming, gender disparities remain in cocoa communities around access and support. This can sometimes be attributed to not considering the impacts of gender when developing programmes. For example, training sessions may be conducted at times when children are not at school, making it difficult for women to participate.

In 2021 ECOM collaborated with Equal Origins (formerly the Partnership for Gender Equity) and industry peers in order to develop the Gender Equity Index (GEI) tool to assess current farmer support practices through a gender lens and to see where we could improve gender disparities. In developing the tool, we explored what we wanted the Index to tell us and what questions we should ask stakeholders to get the right information.

What this means in practice

Gender Equity Index

During 2021, ECOM worked with Equal Origins to develop the Gender Equity Index (GEI) to assess current extension and advisory services through a gender lens. Following two pilots, in Ghana and Peru, the final index was launched by Equal Origins in early 2022 as a 67-question diagnostic tool that will help ECOM to identify precise areas for actions to improve gender performance. Innovative solutions like the GEI will be rolled out across the Group, taking us further towards our goal of improving farmer livelihoods across the world.

Empowering women

Women are key to agriculture, and their role in the supply chain is often misrepresented. ECOM works with its network to identify women who are community leaders and support them with specialised training and support. Through collaboration with stakeholders, ECOM is able to train women in areas such as farm and nursery management. Participation in these activities contributes to enhancing the women’s decision making power on the farm and in their communities, thereby empowering them to make strategic choices and put them into action.

Supporting communities

When work at the farm becomes tough and communities come together to work together, women are a key part of the process. In coffee communities where women coffee pickers are not able to leave their children in safe locations, ECOM unites with local partners to bring communities together and provide secure communal homes for children to stay and benefit from educational and health services as mothers are able to participate in economic activities during the coffee season.

Continuous Learning

Through a trusted network of specialists on the ground, we’ll be able to provide services and training on a range of issues, from soil management to labour practices. In this way we can support smallholder farmers to build capacity and resistance and gain greater market access, so that they can compete with larger producers in the international market.

Our incentives and training programmes encourage climate-smart agricultural practices and increase productivity. Diversification schemes help make farmer incomes more stable, while financial services allow them to invest in their own land. Wherever we source, we have roots in the community, for example with our programmes to educate and empower women and, with our partners, our work towards the eradication of child labour.