Cadbury under fire from shoppers for ‘not doing enough about child labour’
Cadbury has come under fire after an investigation found the FMCG brand was using illegal child labour to supply cocoa beans.
The Birmingham-founded company has been called out by Tony’s Chocolonely and other online shoppers for “directly driving farmers into poverty”.
Tony’s Chocolonely, an Amsterdam-based company, vilified Cadbury’s parent company Mondelez International on LinkedIn for ignoring child labour in its supply chain. The post reads: “Don’t kid yourself about child labour #Cadbury. The first step in eradicating child labour from your supply chain is acknowledging it’s there. ‘Prohibiting’ it doesn’t prevent it. It is widespread throughout the chocolate industry because farmers are not paid enough, live way below the poverty line and have no choice but to use illegal labour.
“Come on, Cadbury, Mondelēz International. It’s time for less talk, more action! We know it’s hard. No one said it would be easy.”
The Channel 4 Dispatches investigation broadcast on Monday found children as young as 10 have allegedly been found working in Ghana to harvest cocoa pods to supply Mondelēz International, which owns Cadbury. According to the company’s annual report for 2020/21, 1,701 cases of child labour were found on its West Africa farms, where it cacao is sourced. The figure was up from 387, which was found in 2019/20.
Responding to the claims, Cadbury’s released a statement, which read: “We are deeply concerned by the incidents documented in the Dispatches programme. We explicitly prohibit child labour in our operations and have been working relentlessly to take a stand against this, making significant efforts through our Cocoa Life programme to improve the protection of children in the communities where we source cocoa, including in Ghana. We strongly refute any allegation that Mondelēz benefits from child labour.
“The welfare of the children and families featured is our primary concern and we commit to investigating further so we can provide any support needed. As part of our Cocoa Life programme, we have Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems in place in Ghana which means community members and NGO partners are trained and ready to provide assistance to vulnerable children, and once identified, we can help to address any cases of child labour.”
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