abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapelocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewprofilerefreshnewssearchsecurityPathtagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb
Article

Chocolate companies ask for a taste of government regulation

Some of the world’s largest chocolate companies are acknowledging widespread child labor on cocoa farms and calling for regulations to discourage the practice, particularly in West Africa, the source of most of the global supply.

The announcement marks a significant departure from previous attempts to eradicate child labor that relied on voluntary measures, not legislation.

The companies’ statement also acknowledged that cocoa is a “major driver” of deforestation, an environmental abuse linked to global warming...

Critically, the companies called for the European Union, where most cocoa is imported, to pass legislation that would require companies to be responsible for guarding against human rights violations and environmental abuses in their cocoa supply chains...

Officials with Nestlé and Hershey told The Washington Post they also support the proposed “due diligence” regulation, and Hershey said the company supports similar legislation in the United States...

Fairtrade, the Rainforest Alliance or Utz [...] were supposed to inspect farms for use of child labor and harmful environmental practices.

But as a Post report in October showed, the inspections by Utz, which certified more cocoa than any other group, were spotty at best...

In response, officials with Utz, now merged with Rainforest Alliance, said the organization is taking steps to improve oversight in West Africa...