George Clooney says Nespresso has 'work to do' after child labor allegations raised

The revealing documentary will air March 2 in the United Kingdom

Nespresso brand ambassador George Clooney says he was "surprised" and "saddened" after learning of child labor allegations raised against suppliers to the coffee maker.

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The allegations surfaced following an investigation for an upcoming episode of the British documentary series "Dispatches" where journalist Anthony Barnett was given access to farms in Guatemala that were reportedly linked to Starbucks and Nespresso.

The episode, slated to air March 2 in the United Kingdom, claims young children are "working long hours in grueling conditions" in order to supply beans for the coffee giants.

"Honestly I was surprised and saddened to see this story," Clooney said in a statement to FOX Business Thursday. "Clearly this board and this company still have work to do. And that work will be done."

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Clooney has been a partner with the brand since 2006 when he began appearing in print and broadcast campaigns. For the last seven years, he has sat on the company's Sustainability Advisory Board with a mission to improve the lives of farmers, make their farms more profitable and sustainable.

"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. "That's why I joined the Sustainability Advisory Board of Nespresso."

Clooney encouraged the UK reporter to continue his investigation, saying it is imperative "to have talented investigate reporters showing the board where they have yet to succeed."

"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.

Nespresso CEO Guillaume Le Cunff says the company, which is a unit of Nestlé S.A., is addressing these claims and will "not resume purchases of coffee" from those farms until the investigation is complete.

"We've launched a thorough investigation to find out which farms were filmed and whether they supply Nespresso. We will not resume purchases of coffee from farms in this area until the investigation is closed," Cunff said, adding that child labor has "no place" in its supply chain.

"Where there are claims that our high standards are not met, we act immediately," Nespresso told FOX Business. The company says it was informed by a UK media outlet that they had identified instances of child labor on six farms in a region of Guatemala but the outlet had "refused to provide us with the details of the farms so that we could confirm whether they supplied Nespresso and to immediately address these allegations."

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SBUXSTARBUCKS CORPORATION69.96+2.17+3.20%

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Likewise, Starbucks, also named in the series, told FOX Business Thursday the company has "zero tolerance for child labor" in its supply chain. The company also launched a full investigation into the claims brought on by the journalist.

"We can confirm we have not purchased coffee from the farms in question during the most recent harvest season, and we will not do so until we can verify that they are not in breach of C.A.F.E. Practices – our ethical sourcing program developed in partnership with Conservation International that provides comprehensive social, environmental and economic standards, including zero tolerance for child labor," a spokesperson for Starbucks said.

Additionally, Starbucks says it will "take every measure necessary" to ensure these farms meet its high standards for ethical sourcing.

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However, despite the actor's rebukes, Clooney commended the board's success in helping farmers.

"They've risked their lives trying to rebuild farms in South Sedan and spent a year on the ground helping farmers restore their farms in Puerto Rico after the hurricane," Clooney said. "The simple truth is that this program is overwhelmingly positive for coffee farmers around the world."