Can a US Court hold Nestlé responsible for child slavery in Africa?
A legal case involving major food companies Nestlé, ADM (Archer Daniels Midland), and Cargill...has now reached the highest court in the country. The three companies are preparing to petition the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which would make the final ruling on the legal question. In 2005, three Malian nationals who were forced into working on cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast filed a class-action lawsuit in a federal court in California. They claimed that the three corporations—through purchasing cocoa harvested by child laborers—”aided and abetted” slavery, child labor, and torture...Though Nestlé, ADM, and Cargill do not own any cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast, they have exclusive buyer-seller relationships with Ivorian farms...In 2010, the California court dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that corporations cannot be sued under the Alien Tort Statute...The Malians then brought their case to a federal appeals court, which reversed the dismissal...But Nestlé, ADM, and Cargill are not giving up the fight...Now, it’s up to the Supreme Court to decide whether they want to hear the case... [Also refers to Hershey, Royal Dutch Petroleum]