USA: Class action suit filed against Nestlé for allegedly failing to inform customers of child labor in supply chain

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Article
12 February 2018

Lawsuit alleges child labor used for Nestle chocolate products

Author: Tina Bellon, Reuters (UK)

Swiss food and drink conglomerate Nestle has been hit with a proposed class action lawsuit by a Massachusetts resident, claiming the company is engaging in deceptive marketing by hiding the fact that its chocolate supply chain involves child and slave labor.

The lawsuit filed in Massachusetts federal court on Monday claims the company regularly imports cocoa beans from suppliers on the Ivory Coast who use dangerous forms of child labor and the slave labor of trafficked children.

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Article
12 February 2018

Massachusetts Consumers Sue Nestle for Allegedly Using Child and Slave Labor to Make Chocolate

Author: Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP

Consumers from Massachusetts today filed a class-action lawsuit against Nestle for allegedly regularly importing cocoa beans from suppliers in the Ivory Coast using the worst forms of child labor as recognized by the UN, including dangerous child labor and the slave labor of trafficked children...

...The law firm says most consumers would be shocked to learn the truth of the source of their favorite candies named in the lawsuit. Much of the chocolate candy produced by Nestle is affected, including Nestle Crunch®, BabyRuth®, Butterfinger® and 100 Grand® among others.

...The lawsuit filed on Feb. 12, 2018, in Massachusetts federal court, states that in violation of Massachusetts law, Nestle does not disclose that its suppliers in the Ivory Coast rely on child laborers and instead continues to profit from the child labor that supplies the chocolate sold to American consumers. Most of these child laborers engage in dangerous work, and some are even subject to conditions of modern-day slavery.

...According to the World Cocoa Foundation, 47 percent of the total U.S. imports of cocoa beans come from the Ivory Coast.

[More information and complaint here]

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Article
11 February 2018

Case No. 1:18-cv-10269 Class action complaint

Author: Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP

...America’s largest and most profitable food conglomerates should not tolerate child labor, much less child slave labor, anywhere in their supply chains. These companies should not turn a blind eye to known human rights abuses or shirk from investigating and preventing potential human rights abuses by their suppliers, especially when the companies consistently and affirmatively represent that they act in a socially and ethically responsible manner. When these food conglomerates fail to uphold their responsibility for ensuring the absence of child and slave labor in their supply chains, their misconduct has the profound consequence of supporting and encouraging such labor. And when these food conglomerates fail to disclose the use of child and slave labor in their supply chains to consumers, they are deceived into buying products they would not have otherwise and thereby unwittingly supporting child and slave labor themselves through their product purchases. Such food conglomerates should be required to make restitution to the consumers they have deceived and to ensure the absence of child and slave labor in their supply chains in the future.

..FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

A. The Worst Forms of Child Labor in the Ivory Coast Are Used to Produce Nestlé’s Chocolate Products. ..B. Nestlé Fails to Disclose the Use of the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Its Supply Chain... C. Nestlé Recognizes that the Use of Child or Slave Labor in its Supply Chain Is Wrong...D. Nestlé’s Use of the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Its Chocolate Products Supply Chain Is Material to Consumers Who Are Generally Left Unaware Without Disclosure at the Point of Sale

....CAUSES OF ACTION...COUNT I VIOLATION OF THE MASSACHUSETTS CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT...COUNT II UNJUST ENRICHMENT ....

...JURY TRIAL DEMAND ......

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