The truth behind the chocolate in your Easter basket. ~ Cat Snyder

Via elephant journal
on Apr 23, 2011
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Photo: Daniel Catt

The Shocking Reason to only ever Buy Fair Trade Chocolate.

Wow. My ability to resist buying a Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Egg just got a lot easier…

Filmmaker U. Roberto Romano’s new documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate investigates the disturbing story of child labor in the cocoa fields of the Ivory Coast. According to the International Labour Organization, up to 72 million African children work in farming capacities.

“Even the department of labor has estimated that there are over 100,000 children involved in the worst forms of child labor on the chocolate farms of the Ivory Coast.” ~ Romano

Romano’s documentary (trailer below) exposes the Chocolate Industry’s dark secret of child slavery, wherein children are bought and sold for around $100 and forced to spend their youthful lives uneducated on chocolate farms.

Rather than depriving ourselves of chocolate this Easter, Romano urges consumers to buy fair trade or direct trade chocolate.

By choosing fair trade alternatives to Reese’s, Hersey’s and the like, we can rest assured that we aren’t promoting farms where children are forced to work and robbed of an education.

Cat Snyder is a student of cultural anthropology and peace and conflict studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Growing up on a small island off the coast of New Jersey, she is a beach girl at heart, but her love affair with the mountains of Colorado began four years ago. After her trip to India last fall, she has learned to appreciate the chaos and magic of travel. In her free time, she enjoys running, kundalini meditation, and meeting new people. Friend her on Facebook.


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10 Responses to “The truth behind the chocolate in your Easter basket. ~ Cat Snyder”

  1. elephantjournal says:
    The "why" is, in fact, shocking. I'll now try never to buy nor eat random chocolate again

    Great article. I will be eating Chocolove this year! ~ Joe Yeoman

    Eva Seifert I was sad to find out that only a very small percent of fair trade ingredients are needed to be fair trade certified. Like 2 percent 🙁 I would love if companies started to disclose the percentage they use.

    Cat Elizabeth I think Direct Trade is ideal, but I will definitely NOT be buying anything less than Fair Trade this Easter!!!

    Louise Thompson great post…sharing

    Steve Corso Any clue which brands, if any are "fair trade" ?

    Sarah Sugatt I'm a carob girl myself

    Cat Elizabeth Sweet Earth Chocolates is a good Fair Trade company, and for Boulderites, Chocolove is my personal local fave. It is not "Fair Trade", but it does support the World Cocoa Foundation, which strives to support cocoa farmers and good quality of life for all cocoa farmers worldwide.

    Rick Gilbert ‎@Steve-I think Theo Chocolate in Seattle has a good rep in this, if it's available in your area. Great chocolate-they operate out of the original Red Hook brewery bldg. Spendy, however.

    Joseph Bernard For all of us chocolate eaters this makes us be more conscious consumers. ARC have a read.

    Sharna-Lee Stone Great story. Just curious and asking what will happen to the children who labour if they don't work? Will they actually be educated?

    Also, i won't be eating chocolate at all. In Australia Fairy products come from an industry that slaughters approx 700,000 bobby calves every year to meet the demands of consumers. Tragic. =(

  2. tanya lee markul says:

    I NEVER knew about child chocolate farms!!

  3. […] keep you human and keep you humble. For the time being, I will stick with coffee…organic and fair trade, of […]

  4. Colin says:

    What would happen to the African economy if we stopped 72 million children working? Are there 72 million adults ready to replace them? Or would these jobs be scrapped and adults made to work harder? I know it is a controversial thought, but not every one is destined to be a university graduate, so why shouldn't there be working children in the world?

    And what would happen to the families of these children if all of a sudden a wage stopped coming into the family. Most likely the family would become (even more?) destitute, could loose their homes, children would be put into state run homes, all because someone in the western world tried to apply western morals to a country and lifestyle they have never lived in.

  5. Stephanie says:

    These children aren't bringing wages home to their families. They're being sold into slavery. It happens all over the world in nearly every industry. This is not about imposing "western morals" onto other societies. It's about human decency, protecting the most vulnerable, and the right for all people to be free to govern their own personhood.

  6. girl says:

    But it's getting to the point that you need a small farm of your own to live anymore. Don't buy this, it supports child slave labor. Don't buy that, they test products on animals. Don't eat this, the animals were given hormones and forced to live in rank cages. Don't eat that, it was genetically modified and irradiated to prevent germs. Boycott them, they are anti-breastfeeding. Boycott them, they don't support gay rights.

    I get it – try to live the best life you can, try not to harm others, try to make a difference. I try. We try. We buy local, organic, hormone-free and free-range, when we can. But we still buy Charmin and I like Cadbury's Cream Eggs.

  7. […] {I thought there was mention of chocolate?} […]

  8. […] Step 2: Remind everyone that their Easter candy was made by slaves. […]