Nestlé Child Labour Violations
Multiple serious violations have been discovered at Nestlé through the use of children on cocoa farms.
Discovered through a probe by the Fair Labour Association (FLA) permitted by the company itself, Nestlé has decided on a action plan in response to the violations.
Auret van Heerden, president of the FLA, said: “For too long child labour in cocoa production has been everybody’s problem and therefore nobody’s responsibility.
“Nestlé is taking direct responsibility for decreasing the risks in its supply chain especially when it concerns the persistent challenges of ending child labour”.
The investigation traced around 80% of Nestlé’s cocoa supply in the Ivory Coast, the world’s principal cocoa grower. The company sources around a tenth of the country’s total cocoa output.
The FLA’s report revealed that, despite industry efforts to discourage children employment, child labour still exists.
Many children were still working in unsafe and dangerous conditions on farms during their school holidays.
The FLA also said that the Ivory Coast’s civil war had destroyed the infrastructure and left only a few alternatives for children than to work on cocoa farms.
Heerden said that the elimination of child labour would be “a long journey”.
The association also discovered that lack of local laws on fair and safe working conditions meant that many reported injuries came from workers’ use of machetes and incidents of discrimination were common and farmers often worked excessive hours.
The FLA urged Nestlé to be more practical in communicating its labour code to everyone involved in its supply chain and encouraged the firm to conduct comprehensive internal monitoring among its 11 recommendations.
They also advised the government of the Ivory Coast, Nestlé and farmer cooperatives to team up together in order to fight the root causes of child labour such as poverty, for instance.
Nestlé said that it will take action on all of the FLA’s suggestions.