I’ve but together a playlist of videos about chocolate. You can go to the list or view all the videos in the player here.
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?
Months ago I read a National Geographic magazine that had a large article, complete with photographs, about modern day slavery that exist in our world. 27 million people in slavery and this article wasn’t even the cover feature, that was reserved for the Zebras.
Mindy had the foresight to cut the pictures out of the magazine and post them on the walls of our bathroom where we would see them often and not be able to put out of our mind the reality of injustice our neighbors face.
Even in the United States, there are an estimated 10,000 enslaved workers here. If you have five minutes, watch this short video from Dr. Kevin Bales about Slavery in the United States
The ending as you can see has an important lesson on the role of each of us in knowing and loving our neighbors. Responding to the injustices that we see right around us, and intentionally placing ourselves in a way that we will know and be aware of those injustices when they occur.
Check out Free The Slaves and Get Involved.