The Girl Scouts of the United States said on Wednesday that child labor has no place in its iconic cookies and called on the two companies that make them to act quickly to tackle potential palm oil abuses in their supply chains.
The comments were sent in the form of a tweet to Associated Press reporters who on Tuesday published an investigation linking Girl Scout cookies and the supply chains of other well-known food brands to tens of thousands of children. who often work unpaid long hours in unsafe conditions to help harvest palm fruits from plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia.
“Child labor has no place in the production of Pathfinder cookies,” the Girl Scouts tweeted. “Our investment in the development of the youth of our world must not be facilitated by the underdevelopment of some.”
The Girl Scouts also referred to a global non-profit organization to which she belongs called the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, which promotes ethical production, including the treatment of workers, writing: “If some suppliers do not follow ethical practices, we our bakers and the RSPO act quickly to rectify these exceptions. ”
The Girl Scouts had not responded to repeated requests from the PA to comment on the findings until Tuesday’s story that many children working in the palm oil industry do not have access to a school or to adequate health care and that some never learn to read or write. . The story details how others live in fear of being arrested by police and thrown into detention centers because they were born on plantations to illegally working parents, and how girls are vulnerable to sexual abuse. .
Journalists traced the child labor to the supply chain of one of the Girl Scout cookie bakers, Little Brownie Bakers, owned by Italian confectionery brand Ferrero, who did not comment on the results. The other baker and its parent company, Canadian company Weston Foods, did not provide any details of its supply chain, citing proprietary reasons. Both said they were determined to source sustainable palm oil.