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5 Dec 2018

Fabio Teixeira, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Brazil: Report finds global chocolate supply chain "tainted" by serious labour abuses

"Global chocolate supply chain tainted by abuses in Brazil - report", 30 November 2018

The global chocolate supply chain is tainted by the use of cocoa from Brazilian farms where human rights violations are common, a report released Friday said. Among the abuses detailed are farmers forced to work off debts to landowners or in degrading conditions, as well as thousands of instances of child labor.

The document is the result of a joint effort between the Brazilian Federal Labor Prosecution Office and the International Labor Organization, and based on findings from a yearlong field investigation and... interviews with authorities and rural workers...

The Federal Labor Prosecution Office now plans to meet with representatives of companies that use Brazilian cocoa and use the report to pressure them to demand better accountability from their suppliers...

The Brazilian Association of Chocolate, Peanut and Candy Industries, which represents 92 percent of vendors and chocolate makers in the country, said that the report "will help us better understand the supply chain and map out actions that eventually may need to be taken to solve any existing problems."

The National Association of Cocoa Processing Industries, which represents the majority of such companies in Brazil, said the president of the association was unable to be reached for comment.