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11 May 2016

Jillian Sequeira, Law Street Media (USA)

Ferrero pledges to end slavery on farms that supply its cocoa by 2020, ahead of its peers - can it deliver?

"Chocolate Company’s Growth Puts a Spotlight on Child Labor in West Africa", 6 May 2016

Ferrero, the chocolate company that manufactures...Nutella and Ferrero Rocher, is on track to reach over $10 billion in profit this year, making it the world’s third largest chocolate producer... But...there is a problem that Ferrero is still working on addressing: child slavery on cocoa farms.

...Ferrero is not alone in this issue... In 2012, Ferrero pledged to end slavery on the farms where it harvests cocoa by 2020. Other leaders in the industry followed this pledge, but chose to amend their commitment to reducing child labor in Ivory Coast and Ghana by 70 percent by 2020 (rather than eliminating it entirely)... [Can] the company...feasibly deliver on [this commitment]? ...

Nutella...also relies on sugar from Brazil and palm oil from Malaysia, which means West Africa may not be the only place where brutal labor practices [may occur in its supply chain]...

The Ferrero family may have historically been secretive about their business to protect from corporate espionage but that does not mean they should be allowed to be anything less than transparent when it comes to their labor practices. 

[also refers to Hershey, Mars, and Nestle]