(Image source: NPR)

 

BY ANLI XIAO

 

ANCHOR CHRISTIAN BRYANT


After years of complaints that child labor laws are violated on the Ivory Coast, food giant Nestle is partnering with the Fair Labour Association to deal with the problem on its supplier cocoa farms.

Nestlé’s Executive Vice President for Operations José Lopez explained the situation on the BBC.

José Lopez: “It is clear that the way cocoa is cultivated in the type of environment that is done with the use of child labour.”

But NPR points out critics aren’t so applauding of Nestle’s efforts, asking -- what took so long?

“After shocking revelations that hundreds of thousands of children were forced to harvest cacao beans under abusive conditions, companies pledged to address the practice … But 10 years later, labor advocates say the chocolate industry doesn't have a lot to show for itself on this issue.”

Indeed, a 2001 initiative was a failure, and as of 2009, the U.S. estimated more than 100,000 children were working in the Ivory Coast’s cocoa industry.

But, a spokesperson for an advocacy group tells InDepthAfrica the FLA partnership might mean some hope.

“If it’s really an independent investigation of the supply chain, it would be a good thing.”

And cocoa farmers are reacting differently. According to International Business Times, some of them see this as a Western interference in a poor region, and a farmer says...

“They can come and see our plantations but for us this is a false issue … Instead of spending their money for nothing, perhaps they could help improve security, which is our real concern.”

Yet others are supportive. Another farmer is quoted as saying...

“We've been fighting against this practice for the past five years … Here the farmers are more educated about the dangers of using children now. They don't do it anymore.”

The FLA and Nestle will start the investigation in January.

Nestle Tries to Crack Down On Child Labor

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Nov 30, 2011

Nestle Tries to Crack Down On Child Labor

(Image source: NPR)

 

BY ANLI XIAO

 

ANCHOR CHRISTIAN BRYANT


After years of complaints that child labor laws are violated on the Ivory Coast, food giant Nestle is partnering with the Fair Labour Association to deal with the problem on its supplier cocoa farms.

Nestlé’s Executive Vice President for Operations José Lopez explained the situation on the BBC.

José Lopez: “It is clear that the way cocoa is cultivated in the type of environment that is done with the use of child labour.”

But NPR points out critics aren’t so applauding of Nestle’s efforts, asking -- what took so long?

“After shocking revelations that hundreds of thousands of children were forced to harvest cacao beans under abusive conditions, companies pledged to address the practice … But 10 years later, labor advocates say the chocolate industry doesn't have a lot to show for itself on this issue.”

Indeed, a 2001 initiative was a failure, and as of 2009, the U.S. estimated more than 100,000 children were working in the Ivory Coast’s cocoa industry.

But, a spokesperson for an advocacy group tells InDepthAfrica the FLA partnership might mean some hope.

“If it’s really an independent investigation of the supply chain, it would be a good thing.”

And cocoa farmers are reacting differently. According to International Business Times, some of them see this as a Western interference in a poor region, and a farmer says...

“They can come and see our plantations but for us this is a false issue … Instead of spending their money for nothing, perhaps they could help improve security, which is our real concern.”

Yet others are supportive. Another farmer is quoted as saying...

“We've been fighting against this practice for the past five years … Here the farmers are more educated about the dangers of using children now. They don't do it anymore.”

The FLA and Nestle will start the investigation in January.

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