Today, Nestlé announced a new plan to tackle child labor risks in cocoa production. Child labor is not a new issue to the company—the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the company’s favor in a case concerning child slavery in June of 2021. The plan is simple: Nestlé will pay cash to cocoa farmers if they send their children to school, rather than out to tend crops. Consequently, the company aims, by 2025, to purchase all of its cocoa through a fully traceable, directly sourced supply chain.
The company expects this new initiative to triple their costs to about $1.4 billion by 2030. To be honest, spending more to pay a just wage, a living wage seems like a good recipe to eliminate child labor. Naturally, SGI will be following the implementation process.
Don’t get your hopes up that other chocolate makers will follow suit. Hershey is fighting a resolution, led by the American Baptist Home Mission Society, that asks for a report assessing whether the company’s current program will eradicate child labor or not. For that matter, maybe Mars can do more than rebrand M&M’s (here is a surprising reflection from comedian Russell Brand on that one).
Think about that the next time you bite into a KitKat.