George Clooney Is “Saddened” By Claims Of Child Labor Linked To Nespresso, Says “Work Will Be Done” To Improve Conditions

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It didn’t take long for Nespresso brand ambassador George Clooney to come forward to address the investigation that linked the coffee brand to child labor at their farms.

The news about Nespresso was uncovered by the British program Dispatches on Channel 4 which is known for investigating issues about society, politics, health, international current affairs and the environment. Clooney said he was “surprised and saddened” to read the story which was reported by Dispatches’ Anthony Barnett. They were given access to farms in Guatemala which is the world’s 10th largest coffee producer. After given access to some of the remote farms, reports said they saw children working. However, Nespresso claims they receive all their beans ethically.

“Having grown up working on a tobacco farm from the time I was 12 I’m uniquely aware of the complex issues regarding farming and child labor,” said Clooney in a statement given to Deadline. “That’s why I joined the Sustainability advisory board of Nespresso seven years ago along with the Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade International, and the Fair Labour Association among many others with the goal then, as it remains to this day to improve the lives of farmers.”

Clooney added, “Clearly this board and this company still have work to do. And that work will be done. I would hope that this reporter will continue to investigate these conditions and report accurately if they do not improve.”

Read Clooney’s full statement below.

Having grown up working on a tobacco farm from the time I was 12 I’m uniquely aware of the complex issues regarding farming and child labor. That’s why I joined the Sustainability advisory board of Nespresso seven years ago along with the Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade International, and the Fair Labour Association among many others with the goal then, as it remains to this day to improve the lives of farmers. Make their farms more profitable. More sustainable. More safe. I’m enormously proud of the success of their efforts. They’ve improved the lives and livelihoods of thousands of farms all around the world. They’ve risked their lives trying to rebuild farms in South Sudan and spent a year on the ground helping farmers restore their farms in Puerto Rico after the hurricane. The simple truth is that this program is overwhelmingly positive for coffee farmers around the world. With that in mind it is also imperative to have talented investigative reporters showing the board where they have yet to succeed. We knew it was a big project when it started 7 years ago, and honestly I was surprised and saddened to see this story. Clearly this board and this company still have work to do. And that work will be done. I would hope that this reporter will continue to investigate these conditions and report accurately if they do not improve. The check and balance of good corporate responsibility lies not just with the company itself but also independent journalists like Mr. Barnett to hold everyone’s promise to account.

Guillaume Le Cunff, CEO of Nespresso also released a statement in regards to Barnett’s report saying that they have “zero tolerance of child labour” and that it is “unacceptable”.

Le Cunff continued: “We’ve launched a thorough investigation to find out which farms were filmed and whether they supply Nespresso. We will not resume purchases of coffee from farms in this area until the investigation is closed. Any issues we uncover will be dealt with diligently and firm action will be taken.”

Read Nespresso’s full statement below.

“Nespresso has zero tolerance of child labour. It is unacceptable. Where there are claims that our high standards are not met, we act immediately. In this case, we’ve launched a thorough investigation to find out which farms were filmed and whether they supply Nespresso. We will not resume purchases of coffee from farms in this area until the investigation is closed. Any issues we uncover will be dealt with diligently and firm action will be taken.

We work with Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade International to reinforce good working practices and fair treatment of workers, including education on the dangers of child labour. We invest heavily in this effort; in 2019, our 400 agronomists made over 170,000 farm visits and trainings across the world, including 60’000 detailed on farm sustainability assessments. This was backed up by more than 3,300 third party verification farm audits. We will continue to do all we can to stamp child labour out. It has no place in our supply chain.”

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/02/george-clooney-nespresso-guillaume-le-cunff-child-labour-1202868427/