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Do you really want that Nescafe coffee or that Nespresso machine?

Aaah, Nestlé.    The company flogging (there is no other word for it) powdered milk, especially to mothers in Africa, when they could breastfeed their newborn infants, is again caught in the spotlight of conduct which deserves condemnation.

But first, the "good" news, as reported in "Nestlé admits slavery in Thailand while fighting child labour lawsuit in Ivory Coast" in The Guardian....

"It’s hard to think of an issue that you would less like your company to be associated with than modern slavery. Yet last November Nestlé, the world’s largest foodmaker and one of the most recognisable household brands, went public with the news it had found forced labour in its supply chains in Thailand and that its customers were buying products tainted with the blood and sweat of poor, unpaid and abused migrant workers.

By independently disclosing that Nestlé customers had unwittingly bought products contaminated by the very worst labour abuses, the company said it was moving into a new era of self-policing of its own supply chains. A year-long investigation by the company confirmed media reports that the seafood industry in Thailand is riddled with forced labour and human trafficking and that slave labour was involved in the production of its Fancy Feast catfood brand.

Nestlé also made sure to make it clear that no other company sourcing seafood from Thailand, the world’s third-largest seafood exporter, could have avoided being exposed to the same risks."


However, as the same article goes on to report.....

"Nestlé is one of the companies facing legal action in the US. Last week the company, along with Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, failed in its bid to get the US Supreme Court to throw out a lawsuit seeking to hold them liable for the alleged use of child slaves in cocoa farming in the Ivory Coast.

This puts the company in the unfortunate position of disclosing slavery in one part of its operations, while at the same time fighting through the courts to fend off accusations that it exists in another – more profitable – part of its business.

Andrew Wallis, chief executive of Unseen UK, an anti-trafficking charity advocating for more supply chain accountability, said: “For me there is a big issue with one part of Nestlé saying, ‘OK we have been dragged along with everyone else to face the issue of slavery in Thailand and so let’s take the initiative and do something about it’, and at the same time fighting tooth and nail through the courts to avoid charges of child slavery in its core operations in the Ivory Coast.”

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