Nestlé to investigate child labour in cocoa supply chain
One of the world’s largest food companies, Nestlé, has responded to worldwide criticism by announcing an investigation into whether children are working on cocoa farms supplying its factories.
Nestlé will be working with the non-profit Fair Labor Association (FLA), a multi-stakeholder initiative that works with major companies to improve working conditions in their supply chains. This is the first time a food company has partnered with the FLA.
In January 2012 the FLA will send independent experts to Côte d’Ivoire to examine Nestlé’s cocoa supply chain.
Where it finds evidence of child labour, the FLA will identify the root causes and advise Nestlé how to address them in ways that are “sustainable and lasting”.
A statement released by Nestlé today said that the FLA’s role will be to help ensure Nestlé’s efforts to eliminate child labour are “more effective and transparent”.
The results of the FLA’s assessment, which will be made public in the spring of 2012, will guide future Nestlé operations.
Nestlé’s Executive Vice President for Operations José Lopez said, “Child labour has no place in our supply chain. We cannot solve the problem on our own, but by working with a partner like the FLA we can make sure our efforts to address it are targeted where they are needed most.”
In the second phase, Nestlé will work with the FLA other stakeholders including the government in Côte d’Ivoire to address any problems that are identified.
The FLA will assess the impact of these efforts and report publicly on the progress made regularly.