MILAN – Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker George Clooney has said he is “saddened” by an investigation led by British Channel Four that appeared to show children working at farms used by Nespresso – the coffee brand he has long served as a celebrity spokesmodel.
The Hollywood star, who has reportedly earned over $40million as the brand’s ambassador for the past 14 years has pledged ‘work will be done’.
Clooney said he hoped Dispatches reporter Anthony Barnett, who revealed the evidence, ‘will continue to investigate these conditions and report accurately if they do not improve’.
“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 labour,” Clooney, 58, said.
“That’s why I joined the Sustainability advisory board of Nespresso seven years ago along with the Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade International, and the Fair Labour Association among many others with the goal then, as it remains to this day to improve the lives of farmers.”
“We knew it was a big project when it started 7 years ago, and honestly I was surprised and saddened to see this story,” he continued. “Clearly this board and this company still have work to do. And that work will be done.”
‘The check and balance of good corporate responsibility lies not just with the company itself but also independent journalists like Mr Barnett to hold everyone’s promise to account,’ Clooney said.