It’s a big month for the cocoa industry. Large corporations are lining up to get you to buy their chocolate. What’s not so sweet is the child labor and human trafficking that brought you that chocolate.
Most of the world’s chocolate comes from West Africa, where 1.8 million children work in the cocoa fields of Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire alone. Slave Free Chocolate, a coalition to bring an end to child slavery and child labor in the cocoa industry, notes that “candy companies — including but not limited to Nestlé, Hershey, Cargill, ADM, and Barry Callebout — have admitted accountability and promised to remedy this situation. Sadly, 14 years has passed since this agreement and little has changed.” So much for voluntary standards and self-regulation of the industry.
The blog Rage Against the Minivan has a good backgrounder and update on the human rights abuses issues in a recent post. Read and watch videos on that blog here.
Why are things still like this? One of the biggest reasons is consumers are not demanding action. But you can choose to never again buy chocolate that has been produced on the backs of children.
Fortunately, there are options. All of the chocolate we carry at the Good Buy is ethically sourced. Here’s a list from slavefreechocolate.org that includes even more. If you buy chocolate elsewhere, be sure to check the label and make sure it’s fairly traded.
Comments will be approved before showing up.