Sunday, September 30, 2007

Chocolate Boycott

I heard a story a couple of days ago about the use of slave labor in the production of cocoa beans. I was hoping it was a very sick joke but apparently it isn't.

Cote d'Ivoire (the Ivory Coast - a country in Africa) produces something like 85% of the world cocoa beans and this is resting on the back (no pun intended) of boys aged 12 - 16 years who work as slaves - having been kidnapped and sold from neighboring countries. So all that sweet goodness, it is produced with the sour taste of slave labor.

I am aware of women and children being traded as sex slaves but feel somewhat powerless to become involved in this. I am aware of the use of slave labor in Asia - particularly in the production of rugs (which I never buy) so again I feel somewhat powerless.

The chocolate slave trade is something I can do something about. The best advice is to only buy chocolate that has been certified as 'fair trade'. Looking through the various brands available in Oz, the only one I can really find is Green and Black - a somewhat new player to the market. Please let me know if there are others that guaranteed to be slave labor free.

I find it ironic that I find out about this perverse trade in the year that we celebrate William Wilberforce's work 200 years ago.

If you don't believe me, please Google something like chocolate and slavery. The proof is there. And if you can, join the chocolate boycott...


Gale said...

mmm...i dont eat alot of chocolate but chris always buys me now im on a mission to identify chocky...god is there anything man doesnt exploit man for

kyles said...

now i have another reason to give chocolate up...or search for slavery free chocolate. I wonder if I would burn off the calories from the chocolate by wandering around looking for it!