AMSTERDAM and SAN FRANCISCO, September 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Today Fairfood International launched a call on snack food giant Diamond Foods Emerald Nuts to be more transparent on child labour issues and to provide more information on the sourcing of their own cashew nuts. Due to the company's lack of response to numerous requests for transparency on this matter, Fairfood International has launched a public campaign in collaboration with Free2Work. According to Free2Work, Diamond Foods receives an F grade for its lack of transparency and failure to address the risk of forced and child labour in its supply chain. Consumers are asked to join the campaign and voice their concerns by signing the petition on http://www.fairfood.org/wakeup. This petition will be presented to Michael J. Mendes, the President of Diamond Foods, on Universal Children's Day 2011 on November 20.
"Diamond Foods has consistently failed to make a public statement about its production practices. Despite Fairfood International's numerous requests, the company has not answered our specific concerns. Consumers deserve the right to know if Diamond Foods is doing its utmost to prevent the use of child labour in its supply chain, and if so - how?" -Yolanda Manzone, Fairfood International
Diamond Foods states in its latest annual report that it sources its cashew nuts from India, Africa, Brazil and Southeast Asia. The nuts from these countries then travel around the world to be packaged and served by Emerald Nuts and others, along with the claim that they are the "energy- giving cure to dreaded afternoon slumps."
Despite the adoption of legally binding agreements and international conventions, child labour still exists. According to research conducted by ChildRight and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), an estimated 20,000 children are engaged in cashew nut processing in India alone. This is just one of the many at-risk regions where cashews are produced. A new report by Human Rights Watch released this month, exposes child and forced labour abuses in Vietnam, adding to the need for a review of Diamond Food's practices.
"According to Diamond Foods latest annual report, it appears that several of the regions where Emerald Nuts claims to source its nut varieties have been identified by the U.S. Department of Labor as at-risk regions for child and forced labour practices." - Julie Kaszton, Free2Work
Diamond Foods must improve its level of transparency today in order to join the fight against child labour - a phenomenon that, like slavery, belongs only in history books.
Fairfood International is a global movement of people passionate about facilitating change towards a sustainable food and beverage industry.
Free2Work is a non-profit organization whose mobile app streamlines and simplifies information on how companies address the issues of forced and child labour in supply chains.
SOURCE Fairfood International