I watched in horror when I saw this video being posted in facebook.
In the video, children as young as and even younger than 14 are kidnapped or sold to become slaves for the harvesting of cocoa. They were forced to work from dawn to evening, working with machetes, which is extremely dangerous in a child’s hands and just as dangerous when not used with care by an adult. At the end of the day, they are then locked in a shed so that they could not escape. Those who try to, are beaten up severely.
None of these children are paid, nor given an education. Many of them are forced to work in the plantation for years. I cant imagine being deprived of my tween-teenage days like that, days when we would be complaining about homework, hanging out with friends and just having a carefree life.
You know, as much as I love chocolate, I don’t condone slavery in any part of the making of chocolate and I’m quite willing to give up eating chocolate by companies who are guilty of using non fair trade chocolates. There are quite a number of well known brands such as Hershey’s, Nestle and M&M’s.
I tried to find a listing of free trade chocolate online, but haven’t been too successful in finding a comprehensive one. This particular site seems revolved around the USA.
What this means is that, similar to the Body Shop, the company trades from countries to utilise their resources for the communities to meet their own needs.
At the back of the package, printed in a maroon box on the right said, “Made without discrimination nor labour exploitation”
I’ve always liked the idea of a cooperative where everyone gets a fair share and profits be divided equally.