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Article

Guatemala: Children as young as eight picked coffee beans on farms supplying Starbucks

“…Starbucks has been caught up in a child labour row after an investigation revealed that children under 13 were working on farms in Guatemala that supply the chain with its beans.”

“Channel 4’s Dispatches filmed the children working 40-hour weeks in gruelling conditions, picking coffee for a daily wage little more than the price of a latte.”

“The Dispatches team said some of the children, who worked around eight hours a day, six days a week, looked as young as eight.”

“Over the course of the investigation, Dispatches visited seven farms linked to Nespresso and five linked to Starbucks. Child labour was found on all the farms.”

“A human rights lawyer who viewed some of the programme’s evidence suggested both companies were in breach of international labour regulations laid down by the UN’s International Labour Organization.”

“Nespresso’s chief executive, Guillaume Le Cunff, said: “Nespresso has zero tolerance of child labour. It is unacceptable. Where there are claims that our high standards are not met, we act immediately. In this case, we’ve launched a thorough investigation to find out which farms were filmed and whether they supply Nespresso…”

“Starbucks also said it had a “zero tolerance for child labour anywhere in our supply chain”. It told Dispatches: ‘We’ve launched a full investigation into the claims brought by Channel 4, carried out in partnership with a leading third-party auditor.’”

“Starbucks has since said that its investigation confirmed ‘we have not purchased coffee from the farms in question during the most recent harvest season’.”