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Chocolate and Child Slavery– A Countdown to Halloween
cap, captain miss america

A few days ago, I read an article about how very horrible the conditions in chocolate production are. Here’s the article.

Now, I love chocolate. I love it with every fiber of my being. It is one of those amazing, wonderful ingredients that is so versatile and delicious. And I have to admit that I was aware that chocolate production was problematic, but I didn’t realize to what extent– I didn’t realize how much more problematic it was than the production of many other types of food.

And for me, reading about the child trafficking and slavery surrounding chocolate made me realize that I can’t eat chocolate and be a conscientious person unless I do some work to make certain that the chocolate I’m eating is not contributing to these conditions. It doesn’t matter how much I love it. Nobody’s life is worth a snack.

My friend Lauren found a collection of various links with more information. I’ve already posted these on my personal LiveJournal, but here I’m posting them again in greater context.

“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.

Well, to be completely honest, most of us can’t afford to give out fair trade chocolate at Halloween. But there are other things we can do.

1) Give out non-chocolate Halloween candy. This is a good option for other reasons, because chocolate often contains dairy and sometimes nuts, both which cause severe allergies for many kids. Did you already buy chocolate to give out at Halloween? If the bag is sealed and you have a receipt, you should be able to return it.
2) Have kids? Going Trick-or-Treating? Raise The Bar Hershey is focusing their campaign specifically at Hershey, being one of the biggest users of slave labor in chocolate production. Talk to your kids about it. Agree to refuse Hershey’s chocolate while Trick-or-Treating this year.
3) Go one step further. Carry a copy (or have your kids carry a copy) of the Raise the Bar Hershey Petition to collect signatures.
4) Or, you know the UNICEF boxes? Instead of collecting money for UNICEF, collect money for International Labor Rights Forum
4) Fill out Hershey’s CSR Report
5) Email Hershey Executives
6) Do you have a favorite chocolate bar that isn’t on the list of Fair Trade chocolate? Write to the manufacturer and encourage them to go Fair Trade.

If you know of more resources, please pass them on.

Mirrored from Nommable!.

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Thanks for posting this. I reposted it. I knew how bad chocolate production is, but I often forget or don't buy fair trade anymore. It was easier when I lived in colorado and had access to many health food stores.

How do you get the repost this button to show up in your message?

So, this is awful and the idea of child labor for candy bars is repulsive. And, I rarely eat chocolate bars (like, once or twice a year).

However, this post has made me want a Snickers real bad. I am an awful person.

Edited at 2011-10-22 05:41 pm (UTC)

That doesn't make you awful! I had the same problem; after I read the article for the first time, my mouth tasted like chocolate for two days.

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