Addressing the root cause of child labor in coffee

High poverty rates in rural areas and a lack of school infrastructure result in a high risk of child labor in some coffee growing regions. While there are often complex socio-economic factors at play, child labor in coffee is never acceptable.


Starting in Guatemala, we’ve introduced a digital child labor monitoring and remediation system (CLMRS), having tried and tested the approach in our cocoa supply chains. It’s an incredibly helpful tool in high-risk origins that allows us to act quickly to remediate circumstances when children are at risk and eliminate unacceptable labor practices in our operations.

The CLMRS cycle

Discover the CLMRS program

Risk Assessment

Following discussions held with the Ministry of Labor to fully understand the parameters of child labor in Guatemala, ~290 household and community surveys were conducted during 2020-2021 via OFIS to diagnose those communities with the highest risk, together with the reasons why.



Armed with this insight, we’ve employed two full-time professional social workers who delivered sensitization and a targeted training agenda to 10 high-risk communities in ofi’s buying regions - Huehuetenango and Oriente.


Karla Ruiz, Social Worker - Santa Rosa, ofi

“Supporting children through education has been a very satisfying experience in my professional life, reaching the communities and obtaining positive results because of the acceptance of the people we work with. We will continue our work working so that we see more children occupying a space in a school and not on coffee farms.”

Coffee CLMRS Dashboard Q12022

72 farmers profiled*


Remediation plans are developed according to the specific circumstances and needs of children identified at risk, with any confirmed cases of child labor followed up within one month. Since 2020, we’ve set up 22 Coffee Kindergartens in Guatemala in partnership with non-profit Funcafé, to provide safe spaces for over 300 children to play, learn and not work during the peak harvest period. Located in the areas identified in the surveys as high-risk, the kindergartens immerse the children in academic and social activities, with proper meals provided throughout the day.


Santiago Guadalupe Giron de Leon, Executive Director – FUNCAFE

“Working together with ofi on the issue of child labor prevention is a very positive and innovative experience. We are one step ahead from other interventions and aligned with the new social protection strategy from the ILO.”