For many people in the food and beverage industry, palm oil is one of the many ingredients they need to source. A recent investigation by the Associated Press, however, pulled back the curtain on the palm oil industry and honed in on its use of child labor.
The article, which was published in late December 2020, focuses on the story of two different girls: Olivia, a 14 year-year-old girl from Tennessee; and Ima, a 10-year-old, is among the many children working alongside their parents in Indonesia and Malaysia harvesting palm oil. While intertwining the two girls' lives, the independent news source examined U.S. Customs records and recently published data to hone in on the most frequent users of the child labor-dependent commodity: food manufacturers.
According to the report, the AP's investigation "found children working on plantations and corroborated accounts of abuse, whenever possible, by reviewing police reports and legal documents."
Read the full investigation at Child labor in palm oil industry tied to Girl Scout cookies