Nestle Announces Another Change To Supply Chain: All KitKat Chocolate Will Be Sustainably Sourced

After saying that “forced labor has no place in [their] supply chain” for Fancy Feast cat food, Swiss conglomerate Nestle SA is now addressing another supply chain area, saying KitKat will be the first global chocolate brand to make all its products with sustainably sourced cocoa. This, as the chocolate industry has come under fire for allegations of child labor.

All KitKat candy bars will contain sustainably sourced cocoa from suppliers accredited by independent third parties by the first quarter of 2016, the company said in a statement Monday.

Nestle already uses only sustainably sourced cocoa in certain markets, but this move extends the practice worldwide, including in the U.S., where Hershey Co. holds the license to make KitKat bars.

“We’re delighted to be a flag bearer for the industry, as the first global chocolate brand to announce such a move,” said Sandra Martinez, Head of Confectionery for Nestlé. “Sustainable cocoa sourcing helps safeguard the livelihoods of farming communities and delivers higher quality cocoa beans. This announcement will only strengthen consumer trust in KitKat as a responsible brand.”

Bloomberg notes that the chocolate industry has come under fire for years for the practice of producers using child labor in cocoa fields: in 2014, random visits to 200 farms in the Ivory Coast that supply Nestle found four children under 15 working in cocoa fields, according to a report by the Fair Labor Association.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.