A class action lawsuit, filed in federal court in California, accuses Nestlé of using misleading labeling about the use of child labor and slave labor in the company’s West African supply chain.
“Nestlé has been acutely aware of the magnitude of unethical labor in its supply chain for more than a decade – indeed, it admits, albeit anemically, that two-thirds of its chocolate supply is tainted with child labor and/or child slave labor,” the lawsuit alleges.
“Notwithstanding knowing full well that its chocolate is primarily procured from farms using the worst forms of child labor, Nestlé slaps bogus ‘seals’ on its products claiming its cocoa is ‘sustainably sourced,’ ‘certified’ and ‘supports’ or ‘helps’ farmers when it knows the opposite is true.”
Nestlé, in a statement, said the company expects the suit to be dismissed.
Attorneys are asking for the court to certify the lawsuit as a class action so any US resident who purchased Nestle products containing the labels since April 2015 could be included.
The following is part of the statement Nestlé issued:
“We are aware of the lawsuit which appears to be another attempt by plaintiffs’ class action lawyers to attack a serious and complex problem like forced child labor through consumer class actions.”