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Parliamentary questions
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20 November 2017
Question for written answer E-007124-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ignazio Corrao (EFDD) , Laura Agea (EFDD) , Daniela Aiuto (EFDD) , Tim Aker (EFDD) , Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL) , Maria Arena (S&D) , Zoltán Balczó (NI) , Nikolay Barekov (ECR) , Tiziana Beghin (EFDD) , Lynn Boylan (GUE/NGL) , Elmar Brok (PPE) , Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD) , Nessa Childers (S&D) , Mark Demesmaeker (ECR) , Eleonora Evi (EFDD) , José Inácio Faria (PPE) , Laura Ferrara (EFDD) , Tania González Peñas (GUE/NGL) , Isabella Adinolfi (EFDD) , Rikke Karlsson (ECR) , Béla Kovács (NI) , Merja Kyllönen (GUE/NGL) , Marco Valli (EFDD) , António Marinho e Pinto (ALDE) , Rolandas Paksas (EFDD) , Lola Sánchez Caldentey (GUE/NGL) , Daciana Octavia Sârbu (S&D) , Michaela Šojdrová (PPE) , Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL) , Dario Tamburrano (EFDD) , Udo Voigt (NI) , Marco Zullo (EFDD)

 Subject:  Child labour exploitation by coffee and cocoa corporations
 Answer in writing 

The EU is the largest importer and consumer in the world of coffee and cocoa, two products harvested by tens of millions of poor farmers as well as by millions of children. Today, the EU pays 60% less in real terms for its coffee than it did in 1983. Cocoa prices paid by the EU are less than half of what would ensure farmers a living income.

Fernando Morales-de la Cruz, founder of CAFÉ FOR CHANGE, claims that the EU is the largest financial beneficiary of child labour and extreme poverty among coffee and cocoa growers. Journalists, including Rai Report, have extensively documented that EU‐funded coffee and cocoa certifications such as ‘Fairtrade’, ‘UTZ’, etc. contribute to poverty and hunger and hurt innocent children.

Apparently, these so-called certification schemes receive millions in EU funding, allowing multinationals to buy coffee and cocoa for less than they cost to produce, while deceiving EU consumers with false claims.

In this context:
1. Can the Commission state what immediate measures it will take to eradicate child labour in the supply chain of coffee and cocoa consumed in the EU to protect millions of children from the consequences of the exploitative trade practices of powerful corporations?
2. How will the Commission ensure that EU coffee and cocoa consumers do not fund exploitative businesses?


(1)This question is supported by Members other than the authors: Rosa D’Amato (EFDD), Agnes Jongerius (S&D).

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