Nestle child labour probe

2011-11-28 22:34

kalahari.com

  • Child Abuse
    Provides readers with a wealth of information on topics of current interest. Now R526.95
    buy now

Vevey - The world's biggest food company, Nestle, announced on Monday it will work with a non-profit group to investigate child labour on Ivory Coast cocoa farms that supply its factories, a new approach to a problem that has tarnished the industry for years.

Little has changed in the decade since the Swiss company and other major chocolate makers signed a US-brokered international agreement in September 2001 to rid their supply chains of child labourers.

Now, Nestle says it is joining the Fair Labour Association, an international group that evolved out of a US presidential task force in the Clinton White House, to probe cocoa fields that supply its products.

It's the first time a food company has joined FLA, which used the same approach with sweatshops when big-name apparel and shoe manufacturers wanted to overcome criticism over child labour in their operations.

Fair labour campaigners and academics expressed cautious hope that the new strategy might finally make a difference.

"If it's really an independent investigation of the supply chain, it would be a good thing," said Flurina Doppler of the Swiss-based Berne Declaration, one of the advocacy groups that have criticised chocolate makers for allowing child labour to continue since they signed the US protocol.

Auret van Heerden, president and CEO of the Fair Labour Association, said the audit will be independent, with unannounced visits to a sampling of farms. He said Nestle's costs will amount to less than a half-million dollars and the results will be made public in spring 2012.

Ivory Coast produces 35% of the world's cocoa. Its coffee and cocoa sectors account for 15% of GDP. The nation's cocoa production hit a record 1.48 million tons last year despite a political crisis that almost brought civil war.

Children trafficked

A report produced by Tulane University under contract to the US Labor Department said last year that 1.8 million children aged 5 to 17 years work on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast and Ghana.

It said 40% of 820 000 children working in cocoa in Ivory Coast are not enrolled in school, and only about 5% of Ivorian children are paid for their work.

Zoua Bi Boti, president of Ivory Coast's national cocoa farmer's union, said many parents view child labour as a "form of initiation" into the family business but exploitation is prevalent on larger, corporate-run plantations.

Unicef estimates 35 000 Ivorian children working on cocoa farms are victims of trafficking, but van Heerden thinks the numbers could be far higher due to the recent turmoil.

"One of the things I'm scared we're going to find is a lot of trafficked kids," he said.

Nestle's vice president for production, Jose Lopez, said the company wants a socially responsible supply chain, even if it means paying farmers more and helping to send their kids to school.

"There is child labour in the supply chain of cocoa that we buy our cocoa from, and we don't tolerate it. Now, saying it is not enough, and nothing will happen just by saying it," he said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    nestle  |  ivory coast  |  child abuse  |  human rights
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

MS SQL DBA

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
GT Recruitment
R25 000 - R38 000 Per Month

Sales Advisors

Somerset West
Helderberg Personnel cc
R7 000 Per Month

Financial Advisor / Sales Rep

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Persona Staff

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may take extra pride in your work today. You have a need to shine and be respected so you may put the extra effort and TLC...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.