Chocolate maker Ferrero has pledged to eradicate slavery from farms where it sources its cocoa by 2020, as part of a growing movement by the multi-billion dollar industry to clean up its supply chains.
The Italian company, which produces Ferrero Rocher chocolates, Nutella spread and Kinder eggs, follows Nestle and Hershey as the third major chocolate manufacturer to announce new anti-slavery moves since September.
It says it will eradicate child labor and forced adult labor from cocoa plantations it uses by 2020, verified by “independent and credible” third parties. Also, it says it will publish a more detailed progress report this summer and promises improved communication to customers.
Up to 75% of the world’s cocoa beans are grown in small farms in West Africa. In the Ivory Coast alone, there are an estimated 200,000 children working the fields, many against their will, to create chocolate enjoyed around the world. Many of the children don’t even know what chocolate is.
In January, CNN highlighted the plight of the child labor in the Ivory Coast in a documentary, “Chocolate’s Child Slaves”, by correspondent David McKenzie.
A statement from Ferrero said its new goals were made “in the light of the need for transparency in the cocoa sector.”
The industry’s regulation over cocoa farms is largely self-regulated. Critics say progress is too slow.
Read all stories about Chocolate's Child Slaves
NGO Stop the Traffik, which worked with CNN on its documentary, welcomed Ferrero’s move as a “sweet deal” for children doing “back-breaking work”.
“Ferrero is the first global chocolate company to explicitly state they will fulfill the promise the chocolate industry made collectively in 2001 to eliminate the trafficking of children in their supply chain. Together with Mars, who have promised 100% certified chocolate by 2020, Ferrero is the only other chocolate company to have made comprehensive commitments towards their entiry cocoa supply chain.
“This individual acceptance of responsibility, coupled with a commitment to report on progress each year, should be an example to the other major chocolate companies, such as Nestlé, Kraft/Cadbury, and Hershey’s, to follow suit.”
The London-based NGO called on Ferrero to put labels on wrappers of its products so customers would know they were untainted by slavery.
A statement added: “2020 is still a long way away, and Stop the Traffik will be monitoring Ferrero’s progress.”
More than 10 years ago, two U.S. lawmakers took action to stop child labor in the industry. The Harkin-Engel Protocol, also known as the Cocoa Protocol, was signed into law on September 19, 2001.
But manufacturers raised concerns and a compromise was reached that required chocolate companies to voluntarily certify they were stopping the practice of child labor. The certification process would not involve labeling products "child-labor-free," as initially proposed.
My jaw is still on the floor.
Yes, seriously why not tomorrow at noon? What is the problem that takes 8 years to stop use of slave labor? The US had a civil war over slavery that lasted only 4 years. All that is needed here is a corporate decision by its majority stockholders to stop.
my thoughts exactly! why would it take so long?? this is crazy!
Please read my post, thank you.
absolutely right, too long, way too much time to waste
So the United States is wasting its time looking for Mr. Kony, while the Hershey Company of Hershey Pennsylvania and Nestle of Switzerland, the place that the Third Reich used to store gold bricks made from the tooth fillings of gassed Jews, enslaves and tortures 200,000 children at known locations until 2020. Perhaps we should bomb the guard shacks at those plantations, and arrest the management of Hershey for war crimes!
Not enough letters after your name, it appears.
Um, it's not like these companies own the plantations. They simply buy the product on the market, which happens to be supplied by these plantations.
Its sad but you are right, i am sick of hearing thumbs up for these companies, they still would be doing what they were doing if it wasn't brought out into the light. Companies should research from the ground up about their businessess and no one is going to tell me Hersheys didn't know about this and turn a blind eye. They should be held responsible, I totally agree
Wow me too! I'm just now learning about this and am shocked!
Pleae read my post. Thank you.
want it done sooner? There is an easy way it just takes a little organization and will power. Stop buying chocolate from companies that use child labour...they will change real fast if thier profits are dropping. The flip side is of course that 200,000 very poor children with no other options for employment will likely starve...along with the families they help to support, there are things worse than children working for food and shelter. I doubt any of us here in north america are willing to pay more for our daily dose of chocolate, not just so some kid we don`t even know can have a meal once a day..we don`t care much about Africa, or we would have ended the starvation long ago....we have the means just not the will.
The U.S. hasn't ended starvation in the U.S. nor poverty, how exactly could it do it in another continent even if it wanted to? Riches rest in the hands of individuals and individuals act in a self-interested way as it has been since dawn. There are enough rich Africans to pull Africa out of poverty, but like the rich in America regarding America's poor they have no obligation to. Its their prerogative, good or bad.
Isn't is sad that it always takes a ridiculous number of years for companies to do anything decent whereas if it bit into their profits they'd implement change immediately?
People are sheep and fall for the lies...sad!
Companies only do it because it can mean a loss of income if they don't. Otherwise they wouldn't have allowed it to start with.
Will corporations abandon the farms they have exploited and depleted? Trafficking exists because of poverty. We cannot allow corportations to abandon the Ivory Coast and invest in farms in new regions. Corporations owe it to the people they have exploited to facilitate the changes and pay a fair premium for the cocoa. Consumers can put pressure to speed the process of change by buying chocolate that carries a fair trade or rainforest alliance seal. But we also need to write corporations and tell them abandoning the Ivory Coast will be unacceptable.
Just one more proof that corporations will take what they can get away with in order to make a profit...and damned be any social norms or moral obligation. And all those tea party types and neocons want is to have less government regulation....as if the "free market" will solve everything. The fact this issue was brought up in legislation TEN years ago says a lot....it says they only care when they are put in the public spotlight.
Alas, and it is the free market, not the regulation that is forcing the changes! It is the responsibility of the people to make sure the free market works for them, just as it is the responsibility of the people to make sure government does as well. At the end of the day, big gov or small gov, free market, or command economy; it all comes down to the intelligence of the people. I don't have much hope that partisan idiots like you will do much to help solve our problems.
I do not know what you call a free market but I am61 years old and have never seen a real free market in my life.You are the idiot.
That seems like a rather aggressive timeline to stop using cocoa from farms that admit to using slavery.
They should give themselves a few more years just to be on the safe side.
It's not about farms that admit they use slavery. Auditing your supply chain for child labor is not an easy thing when you are buying from hundreds of farms across the world or even several hundred middle men distributes. Not as easy as calling them up, "Are you guys using slave labor – if you answer yes we will stop buying from you?" "Oh, um, well, I guess no" "Oh, great we checked you off as 'slavery free' so we can put it on our wrappers, lots of calls to make today, bye bye."
Maybe it is just as simple/easy as you said: Hey, I am calling from FERRERO and if you use child labor we will not buy from you any more. Did you understand? Good. Whould you like me to place another order or do you need more time to match our policy?
The ONLY reason corporations will have any consideration at all for the victims of injustice, slavery, suffering, torture, and death is when it cuts into their profits, either from government regulation or from popular outcry (which in a democracy, after all, amount to the same thing by different means). Corporations do not feel sorry for child slaves. Corporations are NOT people, no matter how many times Mitt Romney says they are. People elect people to keep corporations from enslaving people for profit. Vote accordingly.
Lol, so the free market succeeds in getting corporations to do the right thing, but we should vote for more government anyway? You are a total idiot. Many chocolate companies are not even US-based, and even if they all were, the US government would have an incredibly hard time trying to mandate labor practices in countries in which it has no jurisdiction. What are they going to do, ban 75% of the global chocolate market from US shores? Good luck with that...
I am surprised the right hasn't blamed Obama for child slavery in Africa yet.
2012???? That is like saying..."OK, we pledge to keep using child labor and slaves only for the next 8 years" ! What am I missing???
Reyes - While I agree that strong efforts should be made to eliminate the "worst forms of child labor" in Ivory Coast and Ghana, let's not simplify the problem. Too much emphasis is incorrectly put on "child slavery", when in fact the slavery aspect is not as large as has been indicated by BBC and CNN. In Ghana very little child slavery exists in cocoa and much progress has been made since 2001. Thousands of family owned small farms in Ghana produce cocoa, and children do meaningful "child work" in the fields. They still go to school, have comparatively good childhoods and meaningful lives. Yes, put pressure on the companies, have independent verification of efforts but don't mislead the American public into believe that child slavery is ramant on the cocoa farms. While child labor in cocoa in the Ivory Coast is worse than in Ghana, care must be taken not to remove all child labor from the farms. The children would go into worse forms of child labor, or real child slavery, in the local gold mines, fishing and quarries. I also understand that China has indicated that if the restictions get too much from the U.S. and others, it is prepared to purchase the entire cocoa crop in West Africa, without any child labor considerations, and then sell it to who ever wants to purchase it. Yes, get consumers involved, be tough, set goals but don't mislead the public.
It is, I believe, significant that slavery in 2012 is not generally perpetrated by individuals upon other individuals, nor by governments upon their citizenry, but by corporations upon laborers.
How about we STOP BUYING THEIR CHOCOLATES NOW!!! And see how long it realy takes them to this!!! Or Even better, lets send the top management kids to "chocolate camp" for half a summer and see how it goes!!
i am sick to my stomach reading this article on slavery in the year 2012! we are in 2012! how IS this happening??
i am seriously boycotting all of these brands. i am sickened and saddened that it will take Ferrero 8 years to "eradicate child labor and forced adult labor "
here's a solution: why don't these chocolate conglomerates simply stop processing plants in West Africa and the Ivory Coast and take their business elsewhere? To a nation that doesn't employ the archaic and ruthless standards.
WE are in 2012. Much of the rest of the world is NOT.
I wonder how many of you don't get that these kids will probably starve, be slaves in another industry, or be forced into a life of crime if they can't work the land (as miserable an existence as that may be). These kids' second options are not "go to America and go to school". They are subsistence farming, slavery in some other industry, crime, war. This is a problem that only the West African nations can fix, multinationals and/or Western governments can't do very much. Truth.
Yeah, it's not like these poor multinational companies can afford to pay decent wages and actually invest in local development. Their products would probably cost a few percent more if they did that. I m sure not paying a cent extra for my deluxe candy bar, so some kid in far away africa can have some protein on the menu. After all it' s their problem and they should solve it.
It is a mistake to blame and punish all the cocoa farmers in the Ivory Coast. The chocolate industry has manipulated prices for years and farmers are caught in a cycle of poverty and debt earning less than $2 per day. The industry has created poverty and the result has been terrible labor practices. We need to buy chocolate with a fair trade seal, boycott those who don't have a seal certifying fair trade practices. But we also need to make sure chocolate corporations invest in replenishing soil, diseased trees, sustainable practices in The Ivory Coast. Even if it would be less costly to simply invest in new farms in Vietnam, Indonesia, etc. They created this mess and we can't allow them to simply use those 8 years to create new farms else where and work that new population to death and ruin another set of rainforests.
They've confiscated the Keebler Elves' whips and knuckle dusters.
8 more years? It takes them 8 more years to implement their ban. 8? 2020? Oh, right, Now I understand. They need 8 more years of massive profits before they start paying real wages. Simple solution- stop buying chocolate from these leeches.
I will buy extra Ferrero tomorrow so one of the slave kids is not killed as he won't be needed anymore. ;)
Ferrero does not pay the wages, they only buy the chocolate. Are you seriously proposing that chocolate multinationals buy out the tens of thousands of small cocoa farms in West Africa? Do you know how stupid you sound?
And here I thought the little kids went out and picked chocolates and cocolate bars right off the trees. So the producer of your bath house chocolates plays no role in this? We all can't wait for your insight on the Holocaust and the Asian Tsunamni. You are brain-dead and unfortunately still walking. Give us a break and fill your cake hole with chocolate turds and choke.
I agree with the guy that said their timeline is little too soon maybe they should add a couple of years. I also agree with the person who said we should boycott all their products then they can take as long as they want because they wont have a market for their product scxxwem
good job Ferrero
does that mean business as usual? maybe we should boycott their products until 2020 then.
SLO Tribune=WORST PAPER EVER
This Alex guy is part of the problem – he is quick to call liberal people "stupid", yet as a seemingly conservative ("Big Government" is stuck in their heads) he does not understand what large corporations are doing to the developing world. I have worked for a US multinational company here in South Africa for almost 10 years, and I can tell you they do not care a damn for the locals in Africa. The social problems in the Third World can only be solved through eradication of poverty, yet I see on a daily basis that the same corporations continue to exploit the people, instead of empowering them.
Child labor is a tricky word. I know there are lots of cases of ugly abusive practice, but in the context of a US family farm, a young lad getting up at 5am to feed the chickens is a positive image to most in the US, but that practice would eliminate you from being a supplier of certain companies. . . .
This is such BS. They promised to end things in 2001. Now, it's 2012, and they say they'll do it in 2020? I don' tthink so.
Consumers should boycott uncertified chocolate. That would clean the mess up in 6 months. Think about the child slavery the next time you bite into something from any of these companies, then go get you chocolate somewhere else.
When it rain's those are tears from heaven!
What is wrong with us?
Why is it so hard for us to do the right thing?
How much time do we need to change?
Forgive! us!! for we know what we do! We just love money more than anything else!
CNN just give the reward to Ferrero by posting this article. Anyone and for sure CNN ought to know that the Ferrero announcement is a hollow phrase. Ferrero got what it was looking for and that is free publicity of their company name. There is no need to have a university degree to understand that this is a hollow commitment with one goal only to get free publicity. Multinationals are very skilled in abusing the deprived people for their own benefit, how could you possibly turn a company in a multinational if you don't or haven't. So, are the workers of CNN so gullible that they give presents to multinationals or are there other interests involved beyond my scope.
This is unbelievable; the company is agreeing to child slavery for eight more years. Vote with your wallet – dont' buy anything from this company again. I won't and I will tell everybody not to.
As long as administrations like the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations treat this issue as a joke these companies will continue doing this. Ask yourself this, what has the Obama Administration really done? Create an anti-trafficking month? That is about as big a joke as it gets. Since globalization, the three administrations have had to deal with the problem and all three have been terrible. The Obama administration the worst, because they pretend they are doing something.
I don't blame this company either. A single company can't change anything. This is for government officials with real resources, and this administration has spent quite a bit of money and very very little has gone to fighting trafficking.
2020???? What a family legacy, right? You guys need to have a serious talk up there! WHY NOT NOW?
Well – I won't be buying any of their products for the next 8 years......
All right, but will they pay fair prices for the cocoa?
My fear is that these companies are buying time to invest in new farms in new regions. The farmers of the Ivory Coast have been so badly exploited (earning less than $2/day) that they have had no income to reinvest in their farms or hire adult workers. The soil is depleted, the cocoa trees are aged beyond their productive years, farmers are ill and debilitated from unprotected pesticide use and back breaking work; and now cocoa productivity per hectare in the Ivory Coast is the lowest in the world. The real problem is poverty caused by corporate refusal to pay fair premiums for the cocoa. Are they simply planning to repeat this awful cycle in a new region? We owe it to the people of the Ivory Coast to insist that these companies invest in helping Ivorian farmers rehabilitate their farms and establish certification systems that will regulate labor practices. Hershy's promise of $10 million is merely window dressing. Please CNN look into how corporate "aid" to cocoa farmers is really being spent and whether or not they are positioning themselves to abandon the people they have exploited and earned billions from. And please, fellow consumers, buy fair trade certified chocolate and write to corporations and let them know abandoning the Ivory Coast is unacceptable. No excuses. We will not allow them to blame government unrest, climate change, or even us for demanding slave free chocolate. We want slave free, fairly traded chocolate from the Ivory Coast so that the people of that country can heal and live in dignity.
Really?? Eight years?? Forget waiting for companies to decide upon their actions. There is plenty of VERY GOOD "fair trade" chocolate available at alternative supermarkets like Whole Foods, etc. If you want chocolate, buying responsibly is part of the solution.
Also, MuhammedAllahiSikti is in error. Money for infrastructure is crteead entirely out of thin air by The Federal Reserve. This is in part where our National Debt comes from. Every penny collected in taxes by the IRS (collection agency) goes directly to The Banksters . This is one of the reasons why people with checking accounts don't get their physical cancelled checks back anymore. People were beginning to notice that their tax payment checks were being endorsed by the FRB. Now you know.
First of all when i was born i couldnt write,or talk.You are corcret,i am a citizen of the USA.Whats your point?That im a federal citizen,and/or state citizen!I dont care how its classified,i paid into S.S. for almost 30 years and unfortunetly i had to start receving S.S.(medical reasons).I am still a citizen,i believe in right to bear arms,i stand for all things our forefathers fought and died for,and again i will never voluntarily have a chip placed in or on my body
Eight years...why not make it 80 so you can really screw with the public. No more Ferrero and I'll be using this in my MBA ethics/ CSR class.
Thats so funny you say that, I am also getting MBA and sent this to my Business Law & Ethics professor! We just studied slavery and discussed the chocolate industry.
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Is there a difference between slavery in the Ivory Coast and slavery in China? I don't shop at Walmart do you? Tell the truth someone is spending American dollars there.
Gee! 2020! Are you sure that's not too soon? Amazing that they would commit to such an early date. Yea, we're gonna end child slavery, but not just yet. The CO's of these companies should be put to work along side of the child slaves till 2020. That would be right. Personally, I don't eat chocolate because of the child slavery issue and I feel that more folks should quit buying the chocolate from the companies mentioned above.
Boycott them. It is immoral to purchase things produced with child slavery, or adult slavery.
Seriously, how can we buy Kinder Eggs (Child Surprise Eggs) for our children, knowing child slave labor was used to make them? It's so sad, I had no idea they were made like that and have bought them for my son. It makes me really sad and sick to know what's behind this.
Consumers just have to stop buying these products, then the companies will wake up and change things now, not in 2020!
No pay? Any room & board? I have to wonder how much was budgeted and reported as harvest labor all these years. Somebody was paid to harvest that crop! How many overstuffed pockets took this money? I pray that those that knowingly took this money reveal the truth and funding be established for the housing & education of these children that already know how to work.
Im not sure why everyone is only eyeing this Italian chocolate maker. Why dont they name bigger companies like Nike or Apple or some of the big name textile makers? Aren't their products made in China, India or some South American country where the general population makes peanuts? You wonder why theres no jobs in America? Our so called freindly, environmentaly concious, people caring, greedy corporations, have gone elsewhere to eploite people & the earth so they can line their pockets. But the problem is most americans dont want to talk or admit that is the real problem. You think the Chinese are brainwashed, americans should take a deeper look at themselves & the false propaganda their being fed from their gov't & news broadcasts...
Seriously – Ferrero / Hershey / Mars does not really need to do a cocoa initiative. It a marketing ploy. Why? I think they use very little cocoa on their products. And with food technology they will probably use even less in the future.
Reblogged this on Every Question Has an Answer and commented:
One more reason that you didn't know that Chocolate is bad. The industry has kept this so hush-hush that I never knew until now any major chocolate company uses slaves. I guess that leaves most major American Chocolate corporations, except for Mars and Ferrero in Italy, still using slaves for labor even though slave labor was banned in the US in 1868. Really? Hershey and Cadbury really think it's OK to go across international borders to use slaves just because it's not allowed in the US?
-fromghost [12:32 PM US EST]
have you noticed the recent addition of Nutela to the US market and the adds on T.V. boycott purchase of Nutella, stores that carry it, and TV stations that run the ads. Its a consumers world. The difference in this product is that we feed this to our children......
love of chocolate will prevent a boycott...people will still buy...companies know this...
Look in your own pantry / grocery carts / shopping bags before you complain.
It's not just chocolate, it's coffee, clothing, your mobile phones, etc. Consumers not buying these would make a far better impact than relying on government or whining on some message board.
Is everyone complaining on this message board willing to commit to not purchasing anything that has not been certified as free from slave labor / fair trade today?
Mmm! Chocolate! Choco-holic! As long as I can get my chocolate, that is all that matters to me! As for this article on the poor third world countries with CORRUPT governments, it is those countries which need to clean up their affairs. Bottom line, not our problem. Sorry, but that is the truth. I can see the headlines now: COCO WARS! Hershey Strikes Back, The Return of the Crunch Bar! Nuff Said!
By 2020? I can't imagine working for people that could let this go on for a profit.
Ok, then I don't buy Nutella, Ferrero Rocher until 2020. That stuff's nice and all but it's an easy sacrifice to make for principles.
I try to be aware of where the food I eat comes from and its sad to know about the atrocities that are commited to bring food to our table.
Why doesn't CNN simply keep a permanent list on their site of fair trade and slave trade chocolate and coffee companies so viewers will know which products to buy? As sales fall for Hersheys etc, they will quickly change their practices.
As an american growing up in Thailand, I can tell you first hand that child labor and exploitation is ever present in many places and it's not something that can be changed easily. Companies will always look to improve their profit margins and make the most money possible, which is exactly why they seek employment out of most western counties. While it is easy to blame the companies, consumers, like you and me, are equally at fault. If there was no demand, where would be no supply. As consumers we prefer things to be cheaper, which these days means labor from less developed countries. Not only do the companies have to change but mindsets have to change. People need to do their research instead of blindly following or assuming.
"Chocolate maker Ferrero has pledged to eradicate slavery from farms where it sources its cocoa by 2020." So, 8 more years of slavery, then? Maybe we should all wait until 2020 to buy any more of their products.
The problem of child labor in the chocolate industry can be stopped today. Stop eating chocolate! Is that so difficult, don't eat chocolate, and the industry will make sure that there are no children forced or otherwise, working to produce the cocoa they need. Everyone wants to talk about what governments should do while all the while you stuff your faces with bon-bons. JUST STOP EATING CHOCOLATE, OR SHUT YOUR MOUTH ABOUT YOUR CONCERNS FOR THE CHILDREN.
the children , they will suffer eight years more ... doesn't matter isn't it ?
Definitely, what a magnificent blog and educative posts, I definitely will bookmark your blog.All the Best!
This message is for Ferrero:
I have regularly given your chocolates as Christmas gifts FOR YEARS! Now, you have permanently lost my business, you ruthless, callous money-grubbing hypocrites (and anyone else's business I can take away from you, I assure you) !
Very IRRESPONSIBLE journalism by CNN. Yet again, a mischaracterization of Africa by outsiders using western media.
African children work and are involved in family welfare. And proudly so. Middle class, poor, whatever. It is simply a more grown up world. It is in this context that MOST children work in cocoa fields. Food, the occasional tip and torn clothes does not a slave make. Kids are usually placed in these environments by an authority figure in their life – renumeration can range from food to pay to schooling or all of the above. The reason the child says he can't leave is because the authority figure in his life is telling him not to. When your father tells you you have to get a job at the mall, they're not enslaving you either.
Now whatever the child is given is obviously a pittance typically, but the farmers are not exactly donald trump either. 500,000 children work on these farms. Where are you gonna send all those kids – back to the villages where they were idling around with no industry for their parents to feed them? Is CNN going to feed them? Are you?
The easiest thing to do would be for all these fat folks to stop eating chocolate. But instead, you jump on the corporations who make no bones about their profit seeking and then on the unfortunate african farmer who is trying to survive. Africans can't assuage your guilt because your kids are playing video games, eating chocolate. You wanna eat, eat. You don't, then don't. But don't tell us how we should be providing for our families where development is stark.
Don't mix up child labor with trafficking. Trafficking, you stop. Child labor, you put in more regulations BUT you allow these children to serve themselves and their families. I've used a machete in my mother's farm. We used cutlasses to cut grass in boarding school to learn discipline and, well, because not every school can afford lawn mowers. Some spoiled, naive Americans may feel that work kills, Africans don't.
There is also a difference between child labor and child SLAVERY.
WHO IS THE AUTHOR ????
Hello. buy mulberry
"they are working towards eradicating slavery by 2020"....?????? really? Like, you couldnt just say RIGHT NOW, "Hey, this is wrong, lets end this RIGHT NOW. As of.... you know, RIGHT NOW". I guess I'll have to wait until 2020 to enjoy another piece of Ferrero Chocolate.
why soo long
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