Friday, October 27, 2006

Do You Know Where Your Chocolate Comes From???

They say ignorance is bliss but after watching a news program last night on child abuse in the chocolate industry, I felt it was my duty to blog about it. If I had no clue I am sure a lot of people also are unaware of the unacceptable practice that is still going on in this industry. So since it is Halloween, a time when chocolate consumption is high maybe it is time that we give a bit of thought to where that sweet treat may have come from.

According to the report, in 2001, the U.S. State Department and the International Labour Organization reported child slavery on many of the cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast, which produces about 43 % of the world's supply. It was reported after subsequent research that 284,000 children between the ages of 9 and 12 were working in hazardous conditions such as around toxic pesticide and using dangerous machetes to harvest the cocoa beans. And if that was not bad enough it was discovered that 12,000 children that had participated in the study were working in these abhorrent conditions as a result of child trafficking. Suddenly that chocolate doesn't sound so sweet.

When this finally caught the attention of the media and the government in 2001 and the American public began to take notice, the U.S. chocolate agreed to take steps to end the child slavery trade by July 2005.That is all well and good but sadly the deadline has come and the chocolate industry has failed to change any of its despicable practices.

Global Exchange is now launching a campaign for communities to voice their opinions about the chocolate industry's abuse of children.
What can you do? Buy fair trade chocolate products . Fair Trade guarantees that all producers the income that they need to educate their children and pay workers with fair wages. Consumers can be asssured that no abusive labour practices were used in the process of making the chocolate. If we contact the large chocolate companies and demand that we will accept nothing less than fair trade it will put pressure on them to change. After I write this I am going to email the likes of Nestle, M&M Mars, Lindt and any others in the chocolate industry. If we all took the time to do this they would have to listen.

Happy Parenting 


No comments: