An independent investigation into Nestlé's cocoa supply chain has found numerous child labor violations and kickstarted an ambitious plan to eventually eradicate forced labor and child labor in its production cycle.
The study was carried out by the Fair Labor Association with Nestlé's support.
"Our investigation of Nestlé's cocoa supply chain represents the first time a multinational chocolate producer has allowed its procurement system to be completely traced and assessed. For too long child labor in cocoa production has been everybody's problem and therefore nobody's responsibility," said FLA President Auret van Heerden.
It means Nestlé is the first chocolate-maker to comprehensively map its cocoa supply chain – and can work on identifying problems areas, training and educating workers and taking action against child labor violations.
The FLA investigation found violations of Nestlé's own supplier code, including excessive hours and unpaid workers. It also found 72 percent of injuries were from workers using machetes.
Read the FLA-Nestle report
But child labor remained the primary concern for the FLA which said there were systemic and cultural challenges to overcome in Ivory Coast.
Jose Lopez, Nestlé vice president of operations, told CNN: "There is no way, that long term, a company like ours can accept a situation like this. So it's a matter of how fast, how well, and how many people have to participate in getting these sorts of problems behind us.
"We are determined to make real impact and hopefully also to be used as a lighthouse to show others that it's just a matter of getting started."
He added: "My sense is that what we want to do here is to prove that it can happen. We will work with the World Cocoa Foundation and be in schools, we will work with International Cocoa Initiative and gather the cooperatives and put people there ... to give training on the farmers. We will work with the government on the action plan, we will work with the certifiers.
"It is true that what is new is purely an expression of the will to assemble everybody, to break down these silos and to get the action moving, instead of each one of us trying to give his own interpretation and his own answer."
The FLA recommended Nestlé tell every person in its supply chain about the company's code of practice which bans child labor, and make sure people are trained and expected to uphold the code.
The FLA also said Nestlé has developed a strategy to improve practices by its Ivorian workers, including producing an illustrated guide to the supplier code by October and, in the longer term, train key suppliers to try to create a workforce dedicated to protecting children.
Van Heerden said: "By inviting FLA to completely map and document its cocoa supply chain, consumers will have the complete picture they need to hold Nestlé, the largest food company in the world, accountable for where its cocoa comes from ...
"Now that its supply chain has been mapped, Nestlé will be held accountable for the kind of sustainable and comprehensive changes that ensure a future of responsibly-sourced, code-compliant cocoa."
Kudos to Nestle for taking the lead. Milton Hershy would have supported this type of initiative; will his namesake company?
Probably not . Hershy isn´t the same company it once was. Great chocolate, but a different bunch running things.
raff, nestle did not take the lead. look up companies that went fair trade long before.
No, they're not the first but they are the first big company. The other companies are so small that I've never seen their chocolate for sale.
This is completely insincere and Nestle has no intention of following up. Please do not be fooled, and read a little history:
Nestle is an evil company for for how they hand out samples of baby formula in third world countries...JUST ENOUGH to make sure the mother's milk supply runs dry. After that...they have to PAY FOR IT. Nestle has been doing that crap since in the 1960s and the vast majority of people don't give a crap. My wife and I have been boycotting nestle for this for years (my folks did too for decades). NEstle doesn't give a crap about anything but profits. They only reason they are now "making an effort" to end their child labor is because they got CAUGHT. They are a GIANT corporation...yea...let's not pretend they didn't already know. They know EVERYTHING that goes on within their chain of production.
Of course this is a farce. They will get as much publicity as they can, incorporate the cost into their chocolate, and then in a few years claim victory. Of course the price of their chocolate will remain the same.
Hershey Highway. I thought they took care of child labor back in the 1800s. I wonder who is running the show?
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a*sabotahe b*paki alamero c* cover up
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Nestle deserves NO kudos! Nestle has long been lnvolved in child cruelty and child labor. Its only a wonder as to how this national company is still open for business. Nestle is notorious for giving third world country mothers "formula" that in turn starves their children and ultimatley killing them. Netle needs new management and should be put out of circulation until they make the approriate changes.
BS – Nestle has been turning its back on slave labor in Cote D'Ivoire for decades. How embarrassing – they needed an outside organization to map it's supply chain! how on earth did they control quality, much less ensuring their cocoa didn't come from slave labor. Why do think their spokesperson said "long term"? they could stop the slavery tomorrow and source from other countries, but they won't. The profits taste too good, and their spokesperson drank the koolaid, and they will continue to kid themselves that "they don't/didn't know about it". a report doesn't make for leadership – action does.
They could buy their cocao from South america instead of Africa and stop 95 percent of child labor violations. Ecuador produces some of the highest quality cocao in the world.
Please, in the 70's it was discovered that Nestle was promoting their formulas in South America. They discouraged mothers from nursing their babies and required them to use the formula and the filthy water for making it. Infants were dying in large numbers and they found out it was related to the formula. I have not bought another Nestle product since.
Linda....I am willing to bet my 5 bedroom waterfront house that you have purchased/used a nestle product at least once since the 70"s.
What was that old saying?!? Oh yea... "You don't have to lie to make friends." Seems fitting.
Boycotting Nasty...I mean Nestle isn't easy. You have to do research to know what companies are REALLY them (gerber for example is really Nestle). You have to take it seriously. And if you do...Bobby...you can avoid it all the time. So, get ready to hand over those keys to your mansion jerk. Cause I'm visiting Linda for a weekend holiday.
Dont leave me Bobby – Dont drink the water – its not safe and not very tasty. Buy Evian – very smooth. Bobby – ever try the Hershey Highway?
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BRGY. SAN JUAN
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Good for nestle. I am so proud they are doing the right thing about it.
It's been DECADES since slavery in the chocolate supply chain was made common knowledge in the West. It's been TEN YEARS since the big chocolate companies agreed to a specific, targeted international protocol and an action plan to eliminate the child and/or slave labor in their supply chains. Nestle is JUST NOW commissioning this report. And the report is only the first step in what promises to be a long and haphazard process.
This is just a PR move, which won't actually help any. Know why, Nestle? It's because you raised prices despite producing sh – itty chocolate. People have known about slavery in the supply chain for years, but they didn't care because your product was cheap (don't argue, folks, you all know it's true - you KNEW about slavery's hand in making those Crunch Bars, and you BOUGHT THEM ANYWAY. Because they were THERE, and they were CHEAP).
Now, a $1.75 candy bar made mostly of paraffin wax and milk solids can't compete with an artisan fair-trade bar. Whole Foods has made it easy for consumers in major metropolitan areas to locate and buy decent products, and the prices aren't much different.
Nestle thinks that a PR stunt will make people buy their chocolate again, but it won't - because consumers NEVER CARED about child slaves in the first place. Not enough to give up the Mister Goodbar, anyway.
Think of all the Churches and their Easter candy... I think every cra ppy chocolate bunny should come with a note from the child slave who made it possible to the child of suburbia who receives it.
Godiva Chocolates are divine – but you need a loan to buy a box.
If you check free2work.org they actually rank Godiva as one of the worst... in other words most likely to use child slave labor. I am happy with nestle's announcement, I just hope they follow through- unlike the Harkin Engle Protocol that was signed in 2001.
Hello, this is Chris Hogg from Nestlé and I would like to take this opportunity to address some of your comments. Firstly, thank you for your concern about this issue. This is not just a PR stunt. We joined the Fair Labor Association because we believe they can help us to create systemic change. We have committed to work with them over the long term. This is just the first step in a process which we have committed to – a transparent process which should allow consumers and stakeholders to see for themselves our efforts to address this problem. Please know that we do not tolerate child labour in our supply chain and are committed to addressing this problem, which is why for the first time we’ve asked an independent third party organization such as the Fair Labor Association to map out our cocoa supply chain. The announcement last Friday which disclosed the findings by FLA and our Action Plan was in an effort to introduce greater transparency in this important area and to effectively identify and address issues of non-compliance with our Nestlé Supplier Code. The FLA acknowledged that the Nestlé Cocoa Plan has the makings of a well rounded programme and our Action Plan gives details of how we will improve and scale this up. We will be working with the International Cocoa Initiative to develop a robust and comprehensive internal monitoring and remediation system as recommended by the FLA. This will better enable us to understand what is happening in our supply chain and address any problems found. Our Action Plan itemizes the immediate actions we will take in 2012. The most important actions in 2012 relate to improving child labour monitoring in 2 coops in phase 1, covering about 40 communities and 1,800 farmers and their families. This will evolve into a more systematic and complete monitoring, linked to remediation in 8 coops in phase 2 and should further expand to all Nestlé Cocoa Plan coops by 2016. This progressive approach will allow us to evaluate the effectiveness of the system and adapt and improve it accordingly. You may find the action plan in detail here: http://bit.ly/OH5OM1.
I care about child slaves. When I first heard about this, I stopped buying Nestle products, and that was over a year ago. I haven't bought one since. Everyone I've told about it has followed suit, at least my family and close friends. Can't vouch for everyone, of course. I know a lot of people don't care, but some do. Maybe more than you think.
Thank you for putting it that way. I can't say how many candy bars and chocolate bunnies I've fed myself and my children, ignorantly thinking it was produced innocently and fairly in our "pristine capitalistic perfect America." If all these accusations against chocolate companies are true, I'm ashamed of myself and I'm changing my ways. I may be politically and economically ignorant, but I love ALL kids, and I would never feed them "poison"– Poison comes in many forms, one of which is child slavery. I'm looking into this, and I'm changing my shopping habits. Today.
@Hogg. keep repeating the lies till someone believes you. just fix the problem or stfu. its been going on for decades. get off line and fix it
Nestle created this problem, the prices it pays for cocoa is cost price (using adult labour). The farmer is then forced to reduce costs, child labour is cheaper than adult labour. Funny how people believe nestle is doing the right thing, it caused the problem and I doubt they pay reasonable price for their cocoa. It encourages child labour and for the media it goes out and says oh we are against it. It is disgusting
Levend, You are 100% right.
Their 'policies' are PS BS.
YES, you are so right.
Excelllent analysis, Levend! BBC broke the story on child slave labor being used to produce cocoa in Africa well over ten years ago. Why is Nestle suddenly concerned with their reputation? What took them so long to acknowledge the problem? Over 70% of the cocoa used by Nestle is produced by child slave labor (by children who are slaves; not by children simply doing chores, as some suggest). Other companies stopped using this cocoa years ago and started using fair trade cocoa, but Nestle continues to choose profits over children to this day. Worse, they have CNN trying to make Nestle corporation look like it should be nominated for sainthood. Sorry, but our boycott of Nestle products continues.
Hey nestle do you have the **** to take a poligraft test and say you'll didn't know you'll had kids working for you'll? I will be watching CNN for you'll to take the test and that goes for any freaking corporation too
Hey nestle do you have the **** to take a poligraft test and say you'll didn't know you'll had kids working for you'll? I will be watching CNN for you'll to take the test and that goes for any freaking corporation too!!!!!!!
A good start would be for Nestle to build schools & hire teachers. Children belong in school, not working as slaves!!
How about if the countries that allow the child labor,build the schools and supply the requirements for children for that country, instead of a company just trying to do business there, stop blaming companies and go after the governments that allow it.
Makes me feel even less guilty about eating my tub of cookie dough before turning it into cookies. I hope more companies take this initiative–not just the cocoa companies.
Im glad they are addressing the issue. I hope other companies will follow suit. Children belong in school not swinging a machete for some adult who doesn't pay them. Those people belong in jail. Period.
It really makes you wonder what prompted them to make this admission and how thorough a job they'll do to fix the problem. Most major multinationals have absolutely zero control over their supply chain... If history is any indication of how this will sort itself out, this time next year, the same practices will be in place, but Nestle' will have passed on all the costs of their "investigation" to the consumer...
AFRICAN PEOPLE ARE VICTIMS HERE.
Child labor goes on in 100% of the world. Did you have chours to do as a child? Clean room, dishes, laundry, take out trash mow the grass???
It's all a bunch of BS to keep the (Black people down). Allow africa to deal with their own social issues. I hope CHINA rules the WORLD!
really? you're comparing making your bed to slave work in coca fields? really??
We as children in AMERICA also washed cars and did paper routes. CHILD LABOR???? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!
The things we do here are paltry compared to what child laborers are forced to do. Here we have a free education, there they don't have one here a child might have a paper route that takes him/her 45 minutes max. In 3rd world countries, these kids are working 12 hours a day 7 days a week preparing the cocoa, for a pay of only 75 cents or LESS, each day!
Go after the country that allows child labor, not the company that does business ther, better yet make a new law, if a country allows child slave labor, no U.S. company or subsidiary may do business with that company nor may U.S. taxpayer funds be allowed to be sent to the offending country.
How quickly people forget that it was Nestle who told women in 3rd world countries that Nestle formula was better for their babies than breast milk. Then handed out free formula – when the mothers couldn't afford to buy more, and their breast milk had dried up – the babies died. It took an international movement to bring that to the attention of the world. That company still disgusts me.
Just curious...I didn't notice where in the plan Nestle, worlds largest food company, was going to ensure these children who will now be no longer employed, would be able to feed themselves.
Right now they are fed by working. Once they are no longer working...who is going to feed them?
I'm not saying that the child labor is right; however, just stopping child labor doesn't really solve the problem by itself, it just creates a different problem.
Those of us in the US that have never seen poverty...true poverty...no roof, no floors, no shelters, no food...have no idea the motivations of people in those situations.
do you really think these children who are not working anymore (not slaves) will be going to schools, come back home and play come with their Nintendo's after the got dropped off with their happy yellow buses ? No!!! They will stay home because there's no schools and starve because their dad only brought home a dollar for his all day of work. You people need to start traveling and stop thinking everywhere is like some happy American place!!! All you are doing is hurting families beyond belief ! You don't need money to be happy but food sure helps.
Want to combat the horrors of child labor abuses? Check up on the so-called Church of Scientology and their child labor camps. Google it.
Willard Romney is picking his nose for VP. I guess he wants to have a real booger as a running mate.
That's a nceliy made answer to a challenging question
Romney / his nose 2012
I now feel vindicated for my life-long loyalty to Nestle products,,,well, almost. But if I had know about this before, I would not have supported ANY of them and this will become the standard to measure them by.
um... you might want to read up on Nestle's past, and present corporate abuses before you a) tout your lifelong consumer loyalty to an extremely shady company, and b) believe that a third-party report commissioned by this company will result in fewer FUTURE abuses.
Nestle is the target of a boycott which has been going on since the 1970's, because they caused widespread disease and death in developing nations, and continue to do so without apology or admission of guilt.
no one believes you, Nestle!
ok that's nice, but how those kids will make money?
orlando, u r really off base. Glad ur not a teacher! Some people r so thick!!!!
i hate to be the voice of industrialized reason, here, but maybe these children work to support families in their poor country? i'm not saying it's right, it just is. especially when a family in those parts of the world are undereducated, the government is overly corrupt and/or the population is way out of control. capitalism will always take advantage of someone, we've been doing it for a long time. africans, chinese, mexicans, just to name a few have been the victims here. in the global economy that has been prevalent for the last 150-200 years, it's just happening somewhere else. i'm not saying america and capitalism is bad, it is simply a symptom of the way free economy works. it happens in non-capitalistic societies, as well. and, if you don't think it happens here, you're sadly mistaken. it's just not chocolate.
I don't know, there's something just not right about a chocolate company that kills children (check their history getting African mothers to use baby formula and the literal slaughter of kids that ensued). As Romney says, "corporations are people, my friend". The problem is that sometimes they are not very nice people.
Really, WordPress? I was forced to log-in. REALLY?!?! Yet, when I make up an email, I DON'T HAVE T LOG-IN?! Truly, you're pathetic.
This article is incomplete without your telling us the fate of these soon to be ex-child laborers. What happens to them ? Do they get food and get to go to school which trains them to earn a decent livelihood as adults ? Or do they starve on the streets as the First World pats itself on the back at taking away their only means of livelihood ?
Please clarify to all of us in your article. This is important to understand whether this step is progressive in spirit as well as word or progressive in only word but beyond regressive and bordering on murderous in spirit. Thank you.
I used to work for Nestle.
They took our Christmas bonus and gave it to the Kids Help Phoneline without our permission. They then used the tax deduction for their own benefit. So they do help kids but by stealing from their employees.
There may still be many things wrong about the Nestle company, but I like how they have put themselves "out there" for scrutiny. There is much more awareness today about many labor and eco situations, so I hope this is the first of many improvements for companies who are abusing fair trade. I think this is a good sign...not a solution, but a good sign.
I live in Taiwan where children's textbooks publishers shamelessly display ads ranging from toys to junk food and drinks in children's school books. At this moment, I have in front of me a 4th grade Chinese language textbook with a full-page Nestle's "Koko Krunch" on the inside of the back cover. It just goes to show that if governments don't regulate ads that target kids, we can't expect CEOs to self-regulate their greed.
I guess "forced labor" is a nicer way of saying "slavery."
Nestle has an extremely bad record for its business practices especially pushing artificial milk products for babies in third world countries literally causing the death of hundreds of thousands of children. This article makes it sound like Nestlé cares about the use of child labour in cocoa bean fields??!! Ha gimme a break!!! They are unscrupulously out to better their profit margin at every turn. The media needs to wake up!!
Child labor is one of the worst epidemics in the world. Big companies think they can hide behind money but they can't!
NESTLE MUST HAVE GOTTEN THROWN UNDER THE BUS. LOOKS THAT WAY. HOW MANY OTHER COMPANIES ? I AM WILLING TO BET ISRAEL HAS A FEW.
It's such an odd mentality to condemn child labor. If it's forced, if the bosses are cruel, etc, then it would and should be unacceptable. One must keep in mind that these children do not live in the same conditions that we do. Some are the sole breadwinners for their families. Some don't have access to schools and basic material goods. Why shouldn't they work? It's an honest living. Even here in the states, should paying a child to complete chores be illegal? That's child labor. Allowing a child to help his or her family's small business? Well, it's fine until you start paying them. Such an odd double standard.
Child slavery includes horrible conditions including kidnapping, physical and emotional abuse and many times they are not paid for their life of misery.
Large coprations with huge profit margins could easy make a difference with their purchasing power.
There is nothing comparable in america to the slavery that exists in third world nations. Certainly not doing your chores in a family business. What nonsense to suggest that they are even remotely the same.
It reminds me of the exploitation of chinese labour by foreign companies in china.
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What would really be an advance would be to pay these workers, adult and child alike, a liveable wage.
Imagine this: Africa takes control over their own cocoa resources, not allowing foreign companies in, and produces chocolate in their OWN country. Loans would be needed at first to produce the infrastructure, but the vast profit they would make from their OWN resources would only contribute to a more sovereign Africa.
You mean they actually FIRED the HR people who have been knowingly using slave labor THROUGHOUT the entire Nestle chain including enslaving summer interns right here in the U.S.???!!!! REALLY?!!! Or did they just outsource that part?
who cares i still eat there chocalate and buy all the other products they put out
all these frickin experts on business here, yet I'm sure not one of the commentors has run or owns an actual business. It is either a pipe dream, or extremist fascism to think you are going to change the ways in Africa.
And not buying their product only hurts them more than helps. and I know for a fact you will still eat chocolate with total abandon, since this wild eyed idealism is always so short on realism, and long on hypocracy.
So, get back into your limousines and get a life people, there are real issues you can actual effect. This isn't one of them.
drop the number1 the 2,3,4 are very itneresting and surely it will give you unforgettable memories.. may next year pa yang festival!! especially the bohol trip you will surely love it!!
They already have a life, they are just Not wasting it like you
As long as we don't stop sweeping the actions of corrupt govt. officials under the rug, it won't change. If cnn will stop worrying about the American perception of people in other countries and show more of the Freedom Project on CNN US, and stop worrying about other govts. from being embarassed, the power of a camera lens can be more powerful than a missile, not their usual policy lately of turning the camera off when something gets worse, and identifying the true tormentor of people.
I will stop buying Nestle products!
Its sad and we cnt jst sit there eat choco bars pretending nothings happening.im an african n african govts r unreliable.the big fish should b made 2 pay heavily.
nice new cnn
if you work for someone else you should get paid why is it the almighty dollar is more inportant than our children, what is this world coming to they should be shamed and how can they sleep at night.
People are overlooking the fact that for some of these children, that is the only way they get something to eat. Much like it was in the late 1800's in the united states. Should they be held against their will, no definitely not..Should they be paid something absolutely. But if you deny the way their economy works then the children will starve. Is there a better way, pay the parents what 10 bucks an hour. Then the price of all goods goes thru the roof. Better stop buying anything people. Don't get your Iphones, food, clothing from the stores anymore. In China, the women are sitting shoulder to shoulder on production lines for your goods. Working long long hours for hardly any money, they are housed in dormatories and do not see their families very often. In India, women and children roll 1000's of cigarettes a day to sell so that they can eat that day, In the united states we sit all high and mighty while condemning companies that WE buy from at prices that WE want. Is it "right" by USA standards, no but I guess we can all feel very comfortable sitting at our computers (made in China) while sipping our coffee (south america), eating our chocolate (africa)...and still have a lot of money in our bank accounts (or at least a lot by everyone elses standards)...passing judgement onto others...
First, It is good to see that Nestle is taking an action for revising the issue of child labour. But I was wondering Since Nestle is a huge company How are you gonna change all the chains that you have in Africa in a short time? As the person who works in Nestle mentioned it before they will monitor and work on it till 2016. How do you know the problem won't arise later?
Kami nga dito ng kapatid ko, felenig nila orange chicken lang kinakain namin. Haha. Chura nilang mga judgmental sila. Kapag asa bus kami may mga Mexikanong magsasabi ng orange chicken! orange chicken! chinese! chinese!
I particularly like the part where they state it is a "communication and training problem" and that people working on the fields simply are unaware of the 'standards' Nestle wants to uphold. Naturally, the fact that the ceo and gets paid more annually than all of the farms put together, has little significance.
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