Tony’s Chocolonely calls out Cadbury for ignoring child labour in its supply chain

Tony’s Chocolonely has called out Cadbury’s for not paying enough for its cacao, “directly driving farmers into poverty” having “no choice” but to use children to farm cacao used in is products.

In a social media post, the chocolate company called out Cadbury’s parent company, Mondelēz International for ignoring child labour in its supply chain. Instead, Tony’s Chocoloney said the first step in “eradicating child labour from your supply chain is acknowledging it’s there”.

The social media post read: “Prohibiting’ it doesn’t prevent it. It is widespread throughout the chocolate industry because farmers are not paid enough, live way below the poverty line and have no choice but to use illegal labour.”

The news follows a Channel 4 Dispatches episode which aired earlier this week, exposed the FMCG brand for using illegal child labour to supply cocoa beans to Cadbury. Channel 4 went undercover in Ghana where children as young as 10 have been working gruelling hours to supply cocoa beans.

Reflecting on the programme, Tonys Chocoloney pointed out Cadbury’s child labour monitoring and remediation system (CLMRS) only covers 28% of its supply chain, resulting in the documentary only showed a fraction of “what’s really going on”.

READ MORE: Aldi partners with Tony’s Chocolonely despite 1,700 incidents of child labour cases

It also added that Cadbury’s “proudly” supplies over 33.5% of the UK chocolate market, demanding in what percentage the “1.56 million kids that are working illegally on cocoa farms in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire”.

The news comes as earlier this year, Tony’s Chocolonely admitted to 1,700 incidents of child labour in its supply chain last year.

According to the company’s annual report for 2020/21, 1,701 cases of child labour were found on its West Africa farms, where it cacoa is sourced. The figure was up from 387, which was found in 2019/20.

As a result of the documentary, many customers have taken to social media to express their anger over the revelation.

One user said: “Such a shame how a once family company is now owned by a multinational who don’t care about anything apart from their back pockets.”

Another added: “Modern day slavery, pure and simple. They’re still exploiting African peoples, in this case, children.”

Another user said they are “absolutely disgusted” to see the Cadbury exposed on Channel 4.” I thought Cadbury’s were committed to child free labour and paying fair prices! Clearly NOT.”

Responding to the claims, Cadbury’s released a statement, which read: “We are deeply concerned by the incidents documented in the Dispatches programme. We explicitly prohibit child labour in our operations and have been working relentlessly to take a stand against this, making significant efforts through our Cocoa Life programme to improve the protection of children in the communities where we source cocoa, including in Ghana. We strongly refute any allegation that Mondelēz benefits from child labour.

“The welfare of the children and families featured is our primary concern and we commit to investigating further so we can provide any support needed. As part of our Cocoa Life programme, we have Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems in place in Ghana which means community members and NGO partners are trained and ready to provide assistance to vulnerable children, and once identified, we can help to address any cases of child labour.”

Click here to sign up to Grocery Gazette’s free daily email newsletter



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.



Sign up to our daily newsletter to get all the latest grocery news and insights direct to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.