Mondelēz International, which owns brands including Cadbury and Oreo, said it will work with authorities to address the issue of child labour after a television programme showed children working in cocoa farms in its supply chain.
Channel 4 claimed in its Dispatches programme that children as young as ten are working up to nine hours in terrible conditions to harvest the cocoa pods in Ghana farms.
Mondelēz said it has asked the network to share additional details so that it can “act with the urgency required.”
“With this information we can use the tools at our disposal to investigate and, if validated, work with the proper authorities to help the children,” a Mondelēz International spokesperson said.
The company added that it “strongly refutes” any allegation that it profits from child labour.
“We are deeply concerned by the incidents documented in the Dispatches programme. We explicitly prohibit child labour in our operations and have been working relentlessly to take a stand against this, making significant efforts through our Cocoa Life programme to improve the protection of children in the communities where we source cocoa, including in Ghana,” the spokesperson said.
“The welfare of the children and families featured is our primary concern and we commit to investigating further so we can provide any support needed.”
The company noted that it has Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems in place in Ghana as part of its Cocoa Life programme, which means “community members and NGO partners are trained and ready to provide assistance to vulnerable children, and once identified, we can help to address any cases of child labour.”