George Clooney says he is "surprised and saddened" by an investigation that revealed child labor at coffee farms allegedly linked to Nespresso, of which he has long served as a celebrity spokesmodel.
On March 2, Britain's Channel 4 plans to air an episode of its documentary series Dispatches based on what it says are reports and footage of children working on six farms in Guatemala that allegedly supply coffee beans to the Nestle-owned company.
"Having grown up working on a tobacco farm from the time I was 12, I'm uniquely aware of the complex issues regarding farming and child labor," Clooney said in a statement this week. "That's why I joined the Sustainability advisory board of Nespresso seven years ago along with the Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade International, and the Fair Labor Association among many others with the goal then, as it remains to this day to improve the lives of farmers. Make their farms more profitable. More sustainable. More safe."
"The simple truth is that this program is overwhelmingly positive for coffee farmers around the world," he continued. "With that in mind, it is also imperative to have talented investigative reporters showing the board where they have yet to succeed. We knew it was a big project when it started seven years ago, and honestly I was surprised and saddened to see this story. Clearly this board and this company still have work to do. And that work will be done."