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Sweet deal to combat child slavery

Slavery will be wiped out at cocoa farms used by Ferrero within the next eight years, the chocolate maker has pledged.

key_fairtrade.pngCatherine Bearder, an MEP for the South East, welcomed the confectionary giant's stand, which follows anti-slavery moves by Nestle and Hershey.

The Italian firm, which produces Ferrero Rocher, Nutella spread and Kinder eggs, said it will eradicate child and forced labour on plantations by 2020.

Catherine said: "There is no doubt Ferrero is a major player in global chocolate markets, so this is a very, very positive step.

"However, 2020 is a long way off, so I will be keeping a close eye on progress the company makes. There are still thousands of children working on plantations and that is unacceptable."

Around 75 per cent of the world's cocoa beans are grown in West Africa and there are an estimated 200,000 children working on the plantations.

In December, Catherine met Nestle Executive Vice President Jose Lopez to discuss the problem of children slavery.

Nestle has said it would work with the Fair Labour Association to start eradicating child labour on the cocoa farms it uses.

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