Have you ever thought about the ethics of your chocolate? Where your chocolate comes from, and why there is such a variance in price?
The sad reality is, that if you are buying cheap chocolate, odds are it is because of exploited child workers.
Since 2000, the chocolate industry has been under scrutiny for using cocoa beans from West Africa (especially Cote d’Ivoire) where there are estimated to be over 284,000 child labourers working in slave conditions on cocoa farms (Source: International Labor Organisation, part of the UN)
ABC NEWS recently reported that only 3 per cent of the world’s global chocolate supply is ethically certified to have been harvested without the use of forced, child, or trafficked labour.
World Vision reports that in the worst cases, children as young as six are being forced to work 80-100 hours a week, enduring beatings and malnutrition on top of back-breaking work. Often they have no hope of going to school.
World Vision CEO Tim Costello wants Easter shoppers to think twice when they buy their chocolate eggs this Easter (or anytime really!).
“We’re eating cheap chocolate because of trafficked children, child slavery, hazardous labour, and it’s so simply fixed,” he said.
“It’s simply fixed by as much as two cents extra on a $10 chocolate bar.
The former prime minister of Ivory Coast spoke out very clearly “if the chocolate companies paid fair prices then we could eliminate child labour. That’s what it comes down to.”
“Fair pricing, certification, spending a fraction of what they’re spending on advertising chocolate – and it’s a $100 million industry here in Australia – would clean up that child labour.”
Chocolate has replaced coffee as Australia’s biggest-selling fair trade product with sales growing from $4.5 million in 2009 to $74 million last year.
So this Easter, please think twice about the ethics of your Easter Eggs and dont support child labour with your purchases.
For more information about purchasing ethical chocolate, visit World Vision’s Good Chocolate Guide to Australia or another one of my favourites is The Ethical Consumer Guide.
HAPPY EASTER everyone!
Great post Tara and you have certainly put this back on my radar and anyone else who will listen to me! Have a lovely long weekend
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