All is not well in the world of Nestlé. Back in November, the company admitted to using slave labor-like practices in Thailand to source the seafood used in Fancy Feast. Fast forward three months, and the company is still in hot water. The Guardian reports that Nestlé—along with Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland—is being sued for using forced child labor to harvest cocoa on the Ivory Coast.


Nestlé denies the claim that child slaves have been harvesting cocoa for the company on the Ivory Coast, and have tried to scratch the case. But The Supreme Court has denied the request.

Nestlé explains on their website: “We are training the farmers to improve the productivity of their orchards and the quality of their cocoa, improve health and safety on their farms, and help them understand our stance on labor conditions – including child labor. Following this, we ensure they are certified by UTZ or Fairtrade.” But people still expect more out of the company. Andrew Wallis, the chief executive of Unseen UK, tells The Guardian,


“It’s easy to own up to something that has already been uncovered. By the time Nestlé owned up to slavery in the Thai seafood industry it was accepted knowledge. It’ll be a brave new world when companies are actually doing the real investigation to probe into part of their supply chains that have remained outside the public domain.”

In the past, Nestlé has been applauded for its efforts to change its supply chain for the better, in particular with the incident in Thailand. Nick Grono, the chief executive of NGO the Freedom Fund, explains to The Guardian,


“Nestlé’s decision to conduct this investigation is to be applauded. If you’ve got one of the biggest brands in the world proactively coming out and admitting that they have found slavery in their business operations, then it’s potentially a huge game-changer and could lead to real and sustained change in how supply chains are managed.”

But we’re left to wonder: why was there slavery in Nestle’s business operations in the first place?

[via The Guardian]