Stockpiling hefty bags of Kit Kat and Butterfinger for the kids on Halloween? Global consumer watchdog SumOfUs.org wants you to know the “scary truth” about Nestle, the corporation behind all those big-name candy brands.
In its latest Facebook video, the group says you should think twice about supporting Nestle, pointing out the company’s cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast have been implicated in child slavery allegations and that 34 workers died in a factory fire at a Nestle packaging supplier in Bangladesh in September. The video also mentions the recent controversy surrounding the company’s bottled water operations in Ontario, which has prompted the province to look into placing a two-year moratorium on water-taking permits.
SumOfUs is encouraging consumers to support fair trade and locally made sweets this Halloween. Health food stores like Big Carrot and Whole Foods, as well EcoExistence on St. Clair West, carry certified organic and vegan options.
A spokesperson for Nestle wasn’t immediately available to offer comment on the latest campaign targeting the multinational’s corporate behaviour. The company addresses the child slavery allegations on its website stating it has brought in an action plan for responsible sourcing and has made important progress. But the statement also acknowledges that no company sourcing cocoa from Cote dIvoire can guarantee they have completely removed the risk of children working on small farms in their supply chain.
Nestle candy brands include, Kit Kat, Crunch, Butterfinger, Aero, Smarties, Coffee Crisp, Turtles, Rolo, Nerds, Sweetarts, Laffy Taffy, Runts, Gobstopper, Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip, Pixy Stix, Bottle Caps, Kazoozles and Gummies.
FYI: Nestle-free labels for Halloween loot bags are also being given away as part of Baby Milk Actions International Nestle-Free Week, which runs through November 4 and is calling for a boycott of all things Nestle, including its baby formula. The groups says the company “contributes to the unnecessary death and suffering of infants around the world by aggressively marketing baby foods in breach of international marketing standards.”