Nestle Child Labor Violations Continue After a Decade of Promises

A boy working on a cocoa farmChocolate maker Nestle has AGAIN been accused of failing to carry out checks on child labour and other abuses in part of its cocoa supply chain.  A report by an independent auditor, the Fair Labor Association (FLA), says it found "multiple serious violations" of the company's own supplier code.
 
Nestle signed an agreement in 2001 aimed at ending the use of child labour on cocoa farms. More than a decade later there are still problems.


The code includes clauses on child labour, safety and working hours.

Cocoa is the raw product that makes chocolate in a global industry worth more than $90bn (£58bn) a year.

Earlier reports found that 1.8 million children in West Africa are at risk of abuse through dangerous child labour.

After increasing pressure, Nestle, which is the world's biggest food company, commissioned the FLA to map its cocoa supply chain in the Ivory Coast from where almost half the world's cocoa comes.

Rampant injuries

FLA investigators tracked the journey of cocoa from the poorest and most remote villages to the exporters that sold directly to Nestle.  They found that while Nestle insisted their primary suppliers – mostly big multi-nationals – agree to their code, it often went no further, despite Nestle knowing the supply chain involved many other stages.

"Now that its supply chain has been mapped," says FLA President Auret van Heerden, "Nestle will be held accountable.

"For too long child labour in cocoa production has been everybody's problem and therefore nobody's responsibility.

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