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Nestlé Admits to Using Slave Labor in its Cat Food

Juvenile labor, degrading living environments, debt bondage, and inadequate means of communication were among the violations uncovered in an independent investigation.

After facing allegations of knowingly utilizing slave-and child-labor earlier this year, Nestlé has released an independent report that found workers were subjected to both deceptive recruitment practices and inhumane transportation across country borders, forced into debt bondage, exposed to hazardous working conditions, and living under “sub-par to degrading” conditions. Fair labor nonprofit Verité—which was contracted to lead the investigation into six production sites in Thailand—also found indicators of forced labor. “Sometimes, the net is too heavy and workers get pulled into the water and just disappear,” one escapee was quoted as saying. “When someone dies, he [just] gets thrown into the water.” Nestlé, which uses shrimp caught in these locations in its Fancy Feast cat food, outlined an action plan designed to help eliminate potential unlawful labor practices.

Photo courtesy of Linda Tanner

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