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Chocolate and Slavery
cap, captain miss america
I've been meaning to post about this, too. I read the first article in Good a few days ago, and have not been able to bring myself to eat commercial chocolate since. I knew that chocolate was problematic, but I didn't realize how problematic until I started reading more deeply.

Let's start demanding better of the people who produce our candy. No one's life should be destroyed for something so trivial as chocolate. Let's all keep this in our thoughts as Halloween approaches. It is definitely going to change my choices about what candies to buy. I don't think I can afford to buy fair trade chocolate to give away, but I will at very least avoid buying chocolate at all.

Originally posted by _samalander at Chocolate and Slavery
On a serious note: It's October and in a few days kids will be begging for candy at your door. Lets talk about chocolate.

Did you know that cocoa farmers engage in human trafficking and slave labor to make your chocolate bar? They do.

Did you know that TEN YEARS ago there was an international protocol passed requiring chocolate makers to work to end child slavery? There was, and people were too busy patting themselves on the back to enforce it, so nothing has changed.

Think a boycott will just hurt the people who make those 15 cents a day? You're missing the big picture.

Addicted to chocolate? Fine, here are the Fair-Trade companies that don't use slave labor.

Want to give money to supporting international labor rights? You can do that, too.

Want to learn about better candies to give out at Halloween? I have an app for that.

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I highly recommend Alter Eco chocolate. Pricy, but DELICIOUS. A Touch of Velvet is my favorite. :)

I haven't had theirs! I really like Dagoba, though,

I'm not always the biggest fan of the fair trade system as a whole - I like the concept but not how it's run. The certification requirements are unrealistic, the buying practices aren't always helpful to the farmers, it can still screw over migrant workers, and the markup on cost is usually many times more then the increased price of production with almost all that profit going only to the (American) companies.

On the other hand, if that's the only way to make sure there aren't child slaves in the process, there isn't much choice. It would be nice if there were more groups enforcing ethical standards outside FLO for chocolate the way there are for coffee.

Some of the stuff on the Stop Chocolate Slavery page talks about these issues in terms of not necessarily swapping non-fair-trade chocolate for fair trade chocolate as the best solution, but demanding that large companies that are supporting child slavery change what they are doing.

And yeah. I think the difference between coffee and chocolate is interesting and I wonder how much of that has to do with the fact that the primary consumers of coffee are adults who are making the purchasing decisions for themselves versus chocolate being something that many people are buying for their children.

That's... really upsetting. I don't generally buy candy (not even for Halloween, as we don't get trick or treaters where we live) but that almost makes me feel worse, because I can't do something about the problem by changing my own behavior. Damn.

Mega hearts for posting this.

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