Nestle is currently facing child slave labor charges in Ivory Coast, and has recently been hit with yet another charge that exposes their use of forced labor in Thailand.
Nestle has recently admitted to incidences of forced labor within its supply chain in Thailand. The company said that a year-long investigation discovered enforced labor had been used in the seafood industry in Thailand, and in the production of Nestle’s Fancy Feast cat food brand.
According to The Guardian, although the laborers work in Thailand, most of them are from neighboring countries like Myanmar and Cambodia. The laborers are tricked into a seemingly profitable seafood industry, only to be trapped in a horrible cycle of unprofitable debt and exploitation. Life for these workers is extremely rough. They do not earn enough to make any profit, and they get by, barely surviving the horrible working conditions provided for them.
Disturbingly, this is not the first instance Nestle, the world’s largest foodmaker, has been found to be using slave labor. The Atlanta Blackstar reported that Nestle has been accused of using forced child labor in the Ivory Coast for cocoa production.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that a case against Nestle could proceed. This lawsuit also includes Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Cargill Inc.
Nestle’s disclosure is considered to be a ground-breaking action. Nick Grono, the chief executive of NGO the Freedom Fund, believes that Neslte’s admission could help change the parameters of how businesses work with supply chains and their accountability. Nestle is one of the largest brands in the world, and if it is proactively admitting to its involvement in slavery, this news could lead to a real and sustained change in how supply chains are managed.
This exposure shows that the public is beginning to demand more accountability from large multinational corporations like Nestle. The fact that Nestle has been able to get away with these unfair working circumstances for so long is already an example of the power of big corporations.
These lawsuits are important because they shed light on the injustice committed by corporations like Nestle. It will be interesting to see the outcome, and the future of such a huge company.