(Bloomberg) -- A Brazilian court condemned Cargill Inc. for buying cocoa from producers that exploit workers under slave-like conditions and use child labor, according to the nation’s Labor Prosecutors’ office.
The buying included direct and indirect purchases of raw materials from the farms, the prosecutors said in a statement. Cargill, the world’s largest commodity trade, was ordered to formalize contracts with suppliers, adopt work inspection mechanisms and pay 600,000 reais ($120,000) as indemnity as part of the judge’s ruling, the prosecutors said. The ruling hasn’t been made public, and the company can appeal.
Cargill declined to comment on the prosecutors’ statement. The company doesn’t tolerate human trafficking, forced labor and child work in its operations and supply chains, it said in an emailed statement.
According to the prosecutors, Judge Naiara Lage Pereira, of the Labor Court of Bahia, said in her ruling that there was no doubt about slave-like conditions and use of child labor on the farms, as well as their connection with Cargill.
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