The Swiss coffee company Nespresso has begun an investigation and promised to increase random checks on its coffee farms after child labour was reported on them.
The company says all its coffee is ethically sourced but an upcoming Dispatches documentary on Channel 4 is to feature video footage of children as young as 11 working on at least one farm in Guatemala that supplies Nespresso.
Dispatches filmed children working eight-hour days up to six days a week carrying out heavy manual labour.
George Clooney, who advertises the brand, has said he is “saddened” by the findings of the TV documentary, to be screened next week.
The famous actor has promised that “work will be done” after footage showed children picking beans and carrying heavy loads at coffee plantations in Guatemala.
The Dispatches team claims it was given access to farms in Guatemala that supply to Nespresso and found children working at every one.
That is a shocking revelation for a brand that prides itself — and profits from — a so-called fair trade policy.