On a visit to Côte d'Ivoire from October 30th to November 2nd, Ms. Victoria Mars, a member of the Board of Directors and a descendant of Franklin Mars, founder of the Mars Group was received in audience by the First Lady, Dominique Ouattara, on Monday, October 30, 2017 at the Presidential residence in Riviera Golf.
During this meeting, the delegation accompanied by Mamadou Coulibaly Sangafowa, Minister of Agriculture, submitted and validated the agenda program proposed by the Group and its various centers of interest. Indeed, Ms. Victoria Mars and members of her delegation presented to Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, President of the National Committee of Actions for Fight against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labour (CNS), their actions to combat child labour in cocoa farming to ensure cocoa production sustainability.
Indeed, after signing the first memorandum of understanding 7 years ago, on March 30, 2010, the Government of Côte d'Ivoire and the Mars Group signed this year in Abidjan, another agreement that extends their partnership to 2025, to ensure the sustainability of the cocoa sector in Côte d'Ivoire. In addition to the production and research aspects, the agreement addresses the social aspects and the living conditions of producers.
Taking advantage of this meeting, Ms. Victoria Mars, member of the Board of Directors of the Mars Group, congratulated Mrs. Dominique Ouattara for her involvement in the fight against child labour in cocoa farming. "There is certainly a lot to do, but together we will succeed," she reassured.
For her part, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, First Lady of Côte d'Ivoire explained the efforts carried out by Côte d'Ivoire to address child labour in cocoa plantations. She mentioned the high-level meetings organized by the CNS and the Interministerial Committee against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labour (CIM) both abroad and at national level. In addition, she hoped that there would no longer be any confusion between socializing work performed by children and the worst forms of child labour. She finally congratulated the Mars Group for the work they had been doing on the ground to fight against this scourge. Note that during her stay, Ms. Victoria Mars and members of her delegation will have several meetings and sites visit in Soubré.