Is Their Slavery in Your Chocolate?

Why I don’t buy Snickers, Mars Bars, Nutella, Payday, M&Ms, Hershey Kisses, Nestle Chocolate Chips, Milk Duds, Reese’s and any other kind of chocolate you can think of from the major chocolate companies such as Hershey, M&M Mars, Ferrero, Lindt and Nestle:

UNICEF estimates that nearly a half-million children work on farms across Ivory Coast, which produces nearly 40% of the world’s supply of cocoa. The agency says hundreds of thousands of children, many of them trafficked across borders, are engaged in the worst forms of child labor (Dark Side of Chocolate).

These children, usually 12-to-14-years-old but sometimes younger, are forced to do hard manual labor 80 to 100 hours a week. They are paid nothing, are barely fed, are beaten regularly, and are often viciously beaten if they try to escape. Most will never see their families again. “The beatings were a part of my life,” Aly Diabate, a freed slave, told reporters. “Anytime they loaded you with bags (of cocoa beans) and you fell while carrying them, nobody helped you. Instead they beat you and beat you until you picked it up again” (Robbins).

Americans are the leading world consumers of chocolate (meaning we have a huge say in this industry with our dollars). We import 729,000 tons of cocoa beans costing $15 billion annually and consume about 4 billion pounds of chocolate every year. Most consumer chocolate comes from Hershey and Nestle (USA) as well as Cadbury (UK), who buy their cocoa products from suppliers who, in turn, secure their raw cocoa from Africa’s Ivory Coast. It’s been 200 years since the abolition of slavery (Chocolate’s Hidden Ingredient).

So why do we support companies who support slavery?

Demands have been placed on these companies to fix this. Projections have been made for major companies like Hershey, Nestle, Ferrero (who owns Nutella) and M&M Mars to change their practices by 2020.

But this is only in writing. Little progress has been made in the industry: the companies choose to ignore this issue, their representatives have no data to present, and because the companies are so large, they can get away with this not-so-secret horror. (Fair Chocolate).

Stop Chocolate Slavery

Companies that knowingly use slave labor to make their chocolate:

  • Hershey’s
  • M&M/Mars
  • Nestle
  • Kraft
  • Toblerone
  • Lindt
  • More

Companies that do not use slave labor to make their chocolate {Fair Trade}:

  • Green & Blacks
  • Clif Bar
  • Newman’s Own Organics
  • The Endangered Species Chocolate
  • Dagoba Organic Chocolate
  • Starbucks
  • Lara Bar
  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • More

Fair trade – 1. trade carried on legally 2. trade in which fair prices are paid to producers in developing countries.

I implore you to do your own research and think again before picking up that Snickers bar or bag of Nestle Chocolate Chips for baking. I know they are cheaper than Fair Trade, but at what cost?

I choose Fair Trade chocolate because I am against slavery. Will you join me?

Find out if your chocolate was made by child slaves: Free2Work

Find Fair Trade products through this App: Fair Trade Finder App

 

Be a part of the Freshly Grown community. Like FG here on Facebook.

———

Sources

Viewzone: Chocolate’s Hidden Ingredient: Child Slavery

Image: Felix von der Weppen

John Robbins: Is There Slavery in Your Chocolate?

Fairchocolate.org: Love Chocolate

Future Projections: Take Part’s Hersey Slave Labor Will End With Switch to Fair Trade by 2020

CNN Freedom Project: The Dark Side of Chocolate article

Featured Video: The Dark Side of Chocolate