Blood on our Chocolate

Blood On Our Chocolate


The topic is CHOCOLATE and the cost involved. I'm not talking about the coins we pull out of our pockets to exchange for this sweet cocoa treat. I'm talking about the cost on HUMAN LIFE. I'm talking about child exploitation including forced labour (ie. Slavery), in horrific conditions. I'm talking about 'BLOOD ON OUR CHOCOLATE.'

Picture a typical 12 year old boy in western society. He wakes, showers, eats a good breakfast, jumps on a bus for school, plays some ball etc.

Now head to the IVORY COAST, West Africa. SLAVE TRADERS are taking 11-16 YEAR OLD BOYS from their home countries, and SELLING THEM to Cocoa Farmers.

The children are often LOCKED UP at night to prevent escape after working
12 - 18 hour days. The meals are scant and in fact wouldn't be referred to as a 'meal' at all in our society. Unless you call a small amount of corn paste a day a meal.

Children are also required to handle DANGEROUS CHEMICALS without any body protection.

Here's just one example that I have cut and pasted from an educational site

Aly Diabate, who is from Mali, was 11 YEARS OLD when he was lured in Mali by a slave trader to go work on an Ivorian farm. The locateur told him that not only would he receive a bicycle, but he could also help his parents with the $150 he would earn. However life on the cocoa farm of "Le Gros" (or "Big Man") was nothing like Aly had imagined. He and the other workers had to work from SIX IN THE MORNING UNTIL 6:30 AT NIGHT on the cocoa fields. Since Aly was only about four feet tall, the bags of cocoa beans were taller than him. To be able to carry and transport the bags, other people would have to place the bags onto his head for him. Because the BAGS WERE SO HEAVY, he had trouble carrying them and always fell down. The farmer would BEAT HIM until he stood back up and lifted the bag again. Aly was BEATEN the most because the farmer accused him of never working hard enough. The LITTLE BOY still has the SCARS left from the BIKE CHAINS and COCOA TREE BRANCHES that Le Gros used. He and the other slaves were not FED well either. They had to subsist on a FEW BURNT BANANAS(Chatterjee, "How your...").

...when nightfall came, Aly's TORTURE did not end. He and eighteen other SLAVE workers had to stay in their one room that measured 24-by-20 feet. The boys all slept on a wooden plank. There was but one small hole just big enough to let in some air. Aly and the others had to URINATE IN A CAN, because once they went into the room, they were not allowed to leave.
(http://www.american.edu/ted/chocolate-slave.htm)

How does this affect us as consumers? How big is the part that the Ivory Coast play in the manufacturing of the world's chocolate?

50% !

50% of the worlds chocolate is provided by the Ivory Coast. Big Brand names such as CADBURY & NESTLE are non-oblivious purchasers.

The 'Big Boys' of the chocolate industry have known since 2001 of the relationship between Child Slavery and Cocoa harvesting.

Very little has been done about it. In fact a deadline of July 2005 was set by the manufacturers themselves to discontinue purchase of Slave harvested Cocoa. The time has been and gone without result. A second deadline of 2008 has also come and gone.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

Look for the green 'Fair Trade' logo on any chocolate you purchase or any other inication that it comes from non-slave harvested farms. In Australia the supermarket Aldi stocks some good choc - I can't remember the brand name at the moment but it comes in block form and is wrapped with green paper (no I don't work for Aldi). It is worth the extra cost - I promise that the chocolate will taste better too.

Petition Chocolate makers such as Cadbury & Nestle to 'Hurry Up and get their collective butts into gear'. Tell them to educate the farmers, pay a fair price for the cocoa etc. Whatever it takes to obliterate this despicable act of Slavery, and in particular CHILD SLAVERY. I'm sure that the C.E.O. of Cadbury is as every bit disgusted with the thought of Child Slavery as I am but the fact is that there is little activity on their end to staunchly oppose it.

Boycott the brands known to produce blood-tainted chocolate until such a time as they STOP buying Slave harvested Cocoa.

It sucks that something that brings so much joy to one society can be at the cost of so much pain to another. It doesn't have to be that way. The producers and consumers can make a change.

Get Honest - Get Pro-Active - Make A Change For the Better

note: Some companies such as Mars & Cadbury are starting to make changes but only in certain areas where there has been really strong grassroots campaigning. More needs to be done so that their whole product range, in every country, is slave free.

2 comments

  • lochonora

    lochonora

    This is something I knew was going on but had no idea that STILL nestle and cadbury are still selling these products exploiting these innocent children. I would happily never consume chocolate again if it meant these kids having the opportunity to a normal happy lives surrounded by their families

    This is something I knew was going on but had no idea that STILL nestle and cadbury are still selling these products exploiting these innocent children. I would happily never consume chocolate again if it meant these kids having the opportunity to a normal happy lives surrounded by their families

  • Tracey Rawiri

    Tracey Rawiri australia, crestmead

    i am very much happy not purchase chocolate from any of them, besides Aldis, i too knew of this, but we do totally forget, so now i'm teaching my children, thanks for da add and da reminder..

    i am very much happy not purchase chocolate from any of them, besides Aldis, i too knew of this, but we do totally forget, so now i'm teaching my children, thanks for da add and da reminder..

Add comment