A Swiss chocolate and confectionery company. Its American subsidiary Russell Stover uses prison labor.
Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG, doing business as Lindt, is a Swiss chocolate and confectionery company. It sells its products under several popular chocolate brands, including American brands Ghirardelli and Russell Stover. In 2023, the company employed more than 14,500 people and generated approximately $6 billion in revenue.
Russell Stover uses incarcerated labor at some of its factories. For example, incarcerated individuals in Kansas are sent to day jobs at Russell Stover factories in Abilene and Iola. The company began using prison labor at these facilities in April 2021, "employing" some 150 incarcerated individuals from the Topeka Correctional Facility (TCF). These workers are paid around $14 an hour and receive no benefits, while non-incarcerated employees are paid $15 to $22 an hour and receive benefits. After TCF deducts money for "room and board," gas for the bus that transports incarcerated individuals to Russell Stover's factories, and other fees, workers earn less than $6 an hour before taxes.
While Lindt's policies prohibit the use of forced labor, they do not prohibit the use of all forms of prison labor.