And this is the second reason why I choose to boycott Nestlé.
The Ivory Coast is the source of half of the world’s cocoa. 90% of cocoa plantations use slave labor and trafficked children who are beaten and forced to work 80-100 hours a week to produce this cocoa. The work is dangerous and grueling. These children not only lose their freedom, but also the right to a basic education.
Those participating in this week’s International Nestlé-Free Week have been asked why just Nestlé?
That is a very good question. On this issue? There are a couple of reasons. For one, this week gives me an opportunity to discuss the broader issues surrounding some of the biggest companies in the world. For another, Nestlé is the biggest of the bad. They are leaders in industry that can either create change or fight it. Lastly, they have shown such a blatant disregard for human health and safety that it cannot be ignored.
In 2005, The International Labour Rights Fund (ILRF) filed a lawsuit against Nestlé on behalf of the children of the Ivory Coast using U.S. legislation on ‘crimes against humanity’. Nestlé was the target of this lawsuit because there was solid evidence that demonstrated knowledge of the horrifying labor practices of the cocoa plantations they choose to do business with. Nestlé’s defense? Child slavery is not a ‘crime against humanity.’
Watch this, it is only a few minutes of your life:
Now if you feel so moved, and I can’t imagine who wouldn’t be. Participate in the International Nestlé-Free Week now and beyond consider purchasing fair trade chocolate whenever possible.