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Clooney 'saddened' by child labour at farms 'used by Nespresso'

By newadmin / Published on Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 14:35 PM / No Comments / 12 views

George Clooney has said he is “saddened” by an investigation that appeared to show children working at farms used by Nespresso – the coffee brand he has long been associated with.

The Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker has for years been the face of the company, which advertises its products as being ethically sourced from countries including Brazil, Colombia and Costa Rica.

But Nespresso says it will stop buying coffee from farms in part of Guatemala, the world’s 10th largest coffee producer, after a Channel 4 Dispatches programme claimed to have found child labourers working there.

Nespresso says it prides itself on ethically sourced coffee. Pic: Nespresso
Nespresso says it prides itself on ethically sourced coffee. Pic: Nespresso

Clooney is a member of Nespresso’s sustainability advisory board, which works to ensure the company sources coffee from well-run and sustainable farms, and said the report showed they “still have work to do”.

“We knew it was a big project when it started seven years ago, and honestly I was surprised and saddened to see this story,” said the 58-year-old, who along with wife Amal Clooney is a regular political and social activist.

“Clearly this board and this company still have work to do – and that work will be done.

“I would hope that this reporter (Anthony Barnett) 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.”

Guatemala is one of the world's biggest coffee producers. File pic
Guatemala is one of the world’s biggest coffee producers. File pic

Clooney, whose recent Nespresso adverts co-starred Game Of Thrones actor Natalie Dormer, said he remained convinced that the company’s sustainability programme remained “overwhelmingly positive for coffee farmers”.

“(It has) improved the lives and livelihoods of thousands of farms all around the world,” he said of the firm’s scheme, which works with Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade International.

“And 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.”

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Nespresso said it had launched an investigation to identify the farms featured in the Dispatches footage, and said the use of child labour was “unacceptable”.

Chief executive Guillaume Le Cunff said: “Where there are claims that our high standards are not met, we act immediately.”

He added: “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.”

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