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A body that campaigns against human trafficking has welcomed Nestlé’s investigation into whether cocoa farms that supply its factories use child labour.

The food giant today (28 November) announced it is working with the Fair Labor Association (FLA), a non-profit initiative that works with major companies to improve working conditions in their supply chains.

The move drew praise from Stop the Traffik, an organisation that opposes human trafficking.

A spokesperson said: “After years of campaigning by thousands of Stop the Traffik supporters, we are encouraged to see that companies like Nestlé are beginning to realise that there is a significant problem with the trafficking of children to work on the cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast, plantations that supply the cocoa which makes our chocolate.”

“While it is important to examine child labour as a whole, we also urge Nestlé to begin by looking at the worst forms of child labour, including human trafficking.”

In January the FLA will send independent experts to Côte d’Ivoire to examine Nestlé’s cocoa supply chain.

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By GlobalData

Where they find evidence of child labour, the FLA will identify the causes and advise Nestlé how to address them in ways that are sustainable, the company said.

“Child labour has no place in our supply chain,” said Nestlé’s executive vice president for operations José Lopez.

“We cannot solve the problem on our own, but by working with a partner like the FLA we can make sure our efforts to address it are targeted where they are needed most.”

The company also announced it expects to expand the partnership with the FLA to cover Nestlé’s operations in other countries.