October 29, 2015

Eliminate Child Labor from Cocoa by Emphasizing Children, Not PR Claims

The convergence of Fair Trade Month (October) and Halloween makes it hard not to think about chocolate and kids. Not just the kids who eat the chocolate, but also the child slaves who harvest the cocoa.

A recent Tulane University study reports that child labor is on the rise in West Africa, even as eco-social certification of cocoa proliferates in the region. It is now time to switch strategies, and focus more on farmer-led solutions, payment of fair and sustainable prices, and strong government regulations.

This is what has led a group of consumers in California to sue Nestle, Hershey, and Mars, asking for both monetary compensation and warnings on packaging that child slavery was involved in production of their chocolate candies. These consumers argue that they would not have purchased products from these companies had they realized they were supporting a system of slavery.

Read the full story on Medium now.

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