Thursday, February 18, 2016

The bitter truth about chocolate

I’ve never researched any article (for this blog) so thoroughly as this one.  It strikes so many chords-  chocolate, children, slavery, farming and ethical eating.

“When people eat chocolate, 
they are eating my flesh.”
says Drissa a recently freed slave in a cacao plantation. (1)

image from

It was reported that children 12-16 years old are being trafficked daily in West Africa, producer of 70% of the world’s cocoa. Some journalists saw children as young as 5.  They were forced to work in cacao plantations: wielding machetes to clear the field, climbing trees to pick the fruit, hacking the cacao pods, and carrying 100 pounds of sacks for 80 to 100 hours a week. (2) (3)

Documentaries exposed that children were beaten when they work too slowly or tried to escape.  They were billeted in a room with no windows and restrooms and locked at night.  They would wake up at 6am to work until evening with only bananas and bean paste to sustain them. (4) (5)

In 2001, a protocol was signed by chocolate manufacturers, NGOs and Ivory Coast government to end child labor by 2010.  On the deadline set, Miki Mistrati and U Roberto Romano did a behind-the-scenes investigation to see if changes were made. The filmed revealed prevalence of child slavery even after a decade since the protocol. (6)

In 2015, Tulane University’s reported in their research that 2.26 million children worked in cocoa plantation in the Ivory Coast and Ghana during 2013/2014 harvest season, a 21% increase from 2008/2009. (7)

The bitter truth about chocolate is children’s blood sustain this industry (around 70%). (8)

Know that I am not opposing chocolate production.  

I am not asking you to boycott chocolate or choose ethically manufactured ones.  

I just want to let you know that you might be funding slavery inadvertently. (9)

video from Release Your Wings











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