The world's biggest food company, Nestle SA, says it will work with a nonprofit group to investigate child labor on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast that supply its factories.
Little has changed in the decade since the Swiss company and other major chocolate makers signed a U.S.-brokered international agreement in September 2001 to rid their supply chains of child laborers. Now, Nestle says it is joining the Fair Labor Association, a group that evolved out of a U.S. presidential task force in the Clinton White House, to probe cocoa fields that supply its products, checking for abuses.
FLA says its audit will be independent, with unannounced visits to a sampling of farms. The results will be made public in spring 2012.