Cadbury faces child labour claims on its cocoa farms
Cadbury faces child labour claims on its cocoa farms as probe allegedly shows some workers harvesting crops are as young as 10
- Footage has emerged showing youngsters with machetes cutting down cocoa pods on farms in Ghana
- Activists said farmers cannot afford adult workers to do the job
- Ayn Riggs of Slave Free Chocolate said it was horrifying to see children using knives ‘sometimes half their height’
The firm that owns Cadbury is facing allegations that children as young as ten are being used to harvest cocoa on its farms.
Footage has emerged showing youngsters with machetes cutting down cocoa pods on farms in Ghana that supply Mondelez International.
Activists said the farmers can’t afford adult workers. Ayn Riggs, of Slave Free Chocolate, said it was ‘horrifying’ to see children using knives ‘sometimes half their height’ in clips obtained by Channel 4’s Dispatches.
The firm that owns Cadbury is facing allegations that children as young as ten are being used to harvest cocoa on its farms
‘Chocolate companies promised to clean up over 20 years ago,’ she told The Observer. ‘They knew they were profiting from child labour and have shirked their promises.’
Mondelez’s sustainability programme, called Cocoa Life, states: ‘No amount of child labour in the cocoa supply chain should be acceptable.’
The firm said it was ‘concerned’ and was investigating. Cadbury Exposed: Dispatches is on Channel 4 at 8pm tonight.
The revelations have emerged ahead of the chocolate industry’s busiest time of year, when more than £300million is spent on chocolate Easter eggs and treats in the UK.
On one of the farms alleged to be supplying Mondelez, two children with machetes were filmed by the documentary team weeding the plantations.
Children were also filmed using sharp knives to open cocoa pods and harvest them from trees.
None of the children were wearing protective clothing.
The daughter of one farmer, claimed to be supplying Mondelez, said she had sliced her foot open while using a long machete.
Another said she was ‘too afraid’ to speak out about being forced to work on the farm.
A Mondelez spokesman said: ‘We explicitly prohibit child labour in our operations and have been working relentlessly to take a stand against this.’
Activists said the farmers can’t afford adult workers. Pictured: Detail of remaining cocoa nibs after husks have been removed on June 18, 2019 at Moments Chocolate workplace in Accra
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