- Nestle announced the findings of a yearlong internal investigation into alleged labor abuses in the Thai seafood arm of its supply chain.
- The company launched the investigation in December 2014 after media reports linked "brutal and largely unregulated working conditions to [Nestle's] shrimp, prawns and Purina brand pet foods," Associated Press reported.
- According to the findings, the laborers were mainly from Myanmar and Cambodia and were illegally charged high fees by brokers who found them jobs. The laborers were then forced to work on fishing vessels and at ports, mills, and seafood farms in Thailand in an attempt to repay the fees, which were usually higher than their wages.
"Nestle said it would post the reports online — as well as a detailed yearlong solution strategy throughout 2016 — as part of ongoing efforts to protect workers. It has promised to impose new requirements on all potential suppliers and train boat owners and captains about human rights, possibly with a demonstration vessel and rewards for altering their practices. It also plans to bring in outside auditors and assign a high-level Nestle manager to make sure change is underway," according to the Associated Press.
"As we've said consistently, forced labor and human rights abuses have no place in our supply chain," Magdi Batato, Nestle's executive vice president in charge of operations, said in a written statement. "Nestle believes that by working with suppliers we can make a positive difference to the sourcing of ingredients."
In August, a class-action lawsuit was brought against Nestle by consumers who alleged the company knowingly used a seafood supplier that employs slave labor and human trafficking its Fancy Feast supply chain.