George Clooney is surprised and saddened by an investigation which revealed child labor at coffee farms allegedly linked to Nespresso. Clooney has long served as a celebrity spokesmodel of Nespresso.
Britain’s Channel 4 plans on airing an episode of a documentary series entitled Dispatches on March 2. The series is about reports and footages of children doing labor on six farms in Guatemala. These farms are allegedly a supplier of coffee beans to the Nestle-owned company.
Clooney shared that he grew up in a tobacco farm by the time he was 12 and he is aware of how complex farming and child labor issues can be. In a statement, Clooney added that it was the reason why he joined the sustainability advisory board of Nespresso seven years ago together with the Rainforest Alliance Fair Trade International and the Fair Labor Association among others with the same goal, as it is a reminder to improve the lives of hardworking farmers.
He continued that the simple truth is that the program is overwhelmingly positive when it comes to coffee farmers around the world and with that in his mind, it is also imperative to have talented investigative reporters revealing where they have yet to succeed. He admitted that he knew it’s a big project when it began seven years ago, and he honestly thinks that he is surprised and saddened to witness this kind of story. He added that the board and the company clearly have more work to do and that it will be done.
Clooney also hopes that the reporter will continue to investigate similar conditions and report if they improve or not. He added that the check and balance of good corporate responsibility lies not only within the company itself but also with independent journalists like Mr. Barnet as it will hold everyone’s accountability to their promise
Nespresso, on the other hand, posted a message on their website where they were informed in advance regarding the program but was not given the information they require to identify the incriminated farms and confirm if they really supply Nespresso.- Advertisement -
In a statement, the group says that Nespresso has zero-tolerance when it comes to child labor and it is unacceptable. They added that even if there are claims that their high standards are not met, they will act immediately on the situation. Moreover, they also launched a thorough investigation to find out which farmers were filmed and whether they supply to Nespresso. They added that they will not continue any purchases of coffee from farms in that area until the investigation is over. The management also said that they will be working with Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade International to reinforce good working practices and fair treatment for workers.