I’m going to make this appeal extremely short and straightforward: Please don’t by chocolate this Easter (unless it’s certified Fair Trade). Here is why:
- Nearly half of the worlds chocolate comes from Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa.
- Thousands of children are forced to work on cocoa farms there (not family farms, forced labor: slavery)
This is different then the fair-trade vs. free-trade argument that comes up regarding coffee and some other commodities. This is a certified (meaning independent regulators, investigation etc) vs. unregulated (meaning enslaved children are likely harvesting the cocoa for your chocolate).
I’m very glad that legalized slavery was eliminated in this country many years ago, but our unconscious consumers is fueling slavery today. Buy jelly beans or something this Easter, but if your going to buy chocolate please make it fair trade.
Fair Trade chocolate options: Equal Exchange, Global Exchange, Cadbury (but not this year, they have http://www.stopthetraffik.org/news/press/cadbury.aspx that there Dairy Milk product will be Fairtrade certified by late 2009)
Will you avoid buying chocolate this Easter?