George Clooney is sad to hear that your morning cup of Nespresso is probably being served with a heaping teaspoon of child labor. George has been Nespresso’s brand ambassador since 2006, and it seems they’re the only ones who get him to shave and leave the castle to work these days. According to CNN, George, who reportedly uses his Nespresso money to spy on dictators, sent out a statement in response to an investigation which exposes child labor practices on several Guatemalan farms where some Nespresso coffee beans are sourced. Channel 4 will air an episode of the documentary series Dispatches titled “Starbucks & Nespresso: The Truth About Your Coffee,” on Monday. George says he was “surprised and saddened” to hear that some of Nespresso’s espressos might be tainted with the aroma of exploitation.
Because we can’t have anything, not even a cup of coffee so small it couldn’t drown an ant, CNN reports:
Journalist Anthony Barnett was given access to farms in Guatemala, which is the world’s 10th largest coffee producer. Footage obtained appeared to show children working for up to six days a week picking beans on plantations and moving heavy loads.
Addressing the investigation’s findings in a statement sent to CNN, Clooney, who is a member of Nespresso’s sustainability advisory board, said: “We knew it was a big project when it started 7 years ago, and honestly, I was surprised and saddened to see this story.””Clearly this board and this company still have work to do. And that work will be done.”
He went on to say that he hoped Barnett, the Channel 4 reporter, “will continue to investigate these conditions and report accurately if they do not improve.”
Clooney signed off by reiterating that “the check and balance of good corporate responsibility lies not just with the company itself but also independent journalists like Mr. Barnett to hold everyone’s promise to account.”
I’m already giving serious side-eye to Nespresso, which is owned by Nestle, the company that tried to get all those babies in developing countries hooked on infant formula. All the same, Nespresso insists they’re doing right by the world.
The company said it has stopped purchases of coffee from all farms in the region until they are able to guarantee child labor is not being used.
Nespresso said “any issues uncovered will be dealt with diligently and firm action will be taken. We will also double the number of agronomists that we have on the ground in the region and we will implement unannounced visits to check on compliance on social and labor issues.”