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The Oscar-winning actor and director George Clooney has spoken about allegations of child labour at the Nespresso coffee company, for which he is brand ambassador. Clooney is a member of Nespresso's sustainability advisory board, which aims to ensure coffee is sourced from ethical and sustainable suppliers. He said: "We knew it was a big project when it started seven years ago, and honestly I was surprised and saddened to see this story." An undercover investigation by the UK TV company Channel 4 filmed children on six coffee plantations in Guatemala picking coffee beans and carrying large sacks of coffee on their backs. The farms supply coffee beans to Nespresso.



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Mr Clooney has vowed that, "work will be done" by Nespresso to eradicate any forms of child labour within its operations. Clooney spoke about his own upbringing, living on a tobacco farm in the USA and picking tobacco during his school holidays. He said: "Having grown up working on a tobacco farm from the time I was 12, I'm uniquely aware of the complex issues regarding farming and child labour." Nespresso said it has launched a "thorough investigation" and has suspended all purchases from the plantations. It added: "Nespresso has zero tolerance of child labour. It is unacceptable. We will continue to do all we can to stamp out child labour. It has no place in our supply chain."

Sources:

  • https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/feb/26/george-clooney-saddened-by-alleged-child-labour-on-nespresso-coffee-farms
  • https://news.sky.com/story/george-clooney-saddened-by-child-labour-at-farms-used-by-nespresso-11943415
  • https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-slavery-coffee/george-clooney-saddened-over-nespresso-link-to-child-labor-in-guatemala-idUSKCN20K20X

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