• March 2023

  • Tackling human rights abuses in coffee farming regions

Reducing child labour in Honduras


At JDE Peet’s we want to ensure that our entire value chain is free from human rights abuses, including all forms of discrimination, forced labour, child labour, and workplace harassment.


Human Rights

The challenge

Coffee and tea are produced in countries with key sustainability challenges primarily related to environmental and working conditions.

Our response: working directly with smallholder farmers to support families and improve working conditions

Aside from taking action directly through our supply chain, we also address concerns and challenges under the JDE Peet’s Common Grounds Programme. Our aim was to reach 500,000 farmers by 2025, a target we have already surpassed.

To address human rights challenges, including child labour issues, which exist in the coffee supply chain, we engage with child right’s experts and local partners in high-risk areas. We work to identify and understand the often complex root causes, and develop sustainable long-term solutions, to monitor, prevent and remediate these.


Case study: “Bridges of Education” - Reducing child labour in Honduras

In Honduras, coffee is produced by small, family-run farms. The average child over six years will help their parents at home or with simple on-farm work activities. This is integrated in the culture of families and particularly in rural communities that live off farms. Many parents believe this is a way of ingraining a good work ethic into their children and being a part of the family farm.

Having identified the challenges faced by farming communities in Honduras, we began working with World Vision, a US-based NGO that works to transform the lives of vulnerable children, and ADECAFEH, the Association of Coffee Exporters of Honduras. The aim of the project is to reduce child labour hours as much as possible within farming communities.

Working with our partners, JDE Peet’s is building centres to provide a safe place for children of the people who pick coffee during the harvest, which tends to take place during the school vacation. The centres are there to protect children from getting hurt, and allow them to just be children, freeing parents up to focus on a more efficient harvest, to improve their livelihoods.

The centres are open from 6am to 6pm and accept children from 2 months to 14 years old. The children receive care and food in an environment where they can learn and grow. Younger children (0-3 years old) are offered early years stimulation programs. Older children receive tutoring in maths, English, social studies and science. Through alliances with other institutions and universities, the children are also taught practical crafts they can use when they are older, such as gardening or making jewellery.

The outcomes

Phase one of the pilot project was to create one centre, which is now complete, and generated excellent results and feedback. The community got very involved, and farmers contributed food, toys, and transportation. Phase two is now underway, with a total of seven centres up and running, with two more planned,
to reach a target of nine centres by 2026.

The project’s success is dependent on the community taking ownership. They provide the land for the centres while partners like JDE Peet’s and ADECAFEH cover the cost of teachers provided by the Ministry of Education. The project has also been aided by the support of local government, who have set up an office and child issue oversight committees.

So far, the programme has prevented 40,000 hours of child labour and supported 900 children over the past three harvests. What’s more, farmers have reported increased productivity and quality from the harvesting as those doing the harvesting have peace of mind knowing their children have a safe place to be while they work on the farms.

The programme has prevented 40,000 hours of child labour and supported 900 children over the past three harvests

Looking ahead

The aim of the project is to create thriving children’s centres, not only run by the Bridges of Education programme, but as a practice that is fully integrated into the community, to create a legacy of lasting change.

“We want to continue to raise awareness and educate families about the importance of children having a childhood and access to quality education, while still teaching them to be responsible and work hard and provide them with reassurance that they can maintain their coffee farm into the future.

The secret to success is to act together as a sector, with local NGOs, buyers and governments prioritising efforts to eliminate child labour and protect human rights.”

Gina Canales - Sustainability Manager, JDE Peet’s