Labor groups critique fair trade certification scheme based on study at chocolate factory

Posted on February 22, 2013

The International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) recently released a report documenting their investigation of labor rights violations at Theo Chocolate, a fair trade chocolate company. The report focuses on Theo’s fair trade certifier, IMO and IMO’s Fair for Life program, criticizing them for continuing to certify Theo despite serious worker complaints.  Both Theo and IMO released initial public responses to the original ILRF report.  IMO later issued an additional detailed public response regarding ILRF’s report, including a description of actions taken by IMO in response to the allegations, summary of audit findings, and IMO’s evaluation of the findings.

Fair World Project has been monitoring this case closely and reaching out to all parties involved as well as our own close allies and stakeholders for input; will issue a deeper analysis of the case and recommendations for next steps soon. At this time, we continue to recognize Theo as a committed fair trade brand and Fair for Life as a valid fair trade certification. However, we do believe that there is room for growth and believe that the labor and fair trade movements need to work more closely together to create truly fair supply chains and build on each other’s areas of expertise.

Read ILRF report on Theo and IMO (PDF File)
Read IMO response to ILRF (PDF File)
Read Theo’s response to ILRF (PDF File)
Read IMO DETAILED response to ILRF (PDF File)



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