Food Industry chocolate child

Published on July 17th, 2011 | by Becky Striepe

6

Chocolate and Child Slavery

chocolate child

Unfortunately, conventional chocolate is often linked to child labor and even slavery, especially on the Ivory Coast.

In this short video, a student at Asheville, North Carolina’s Terra Summer talks about child labor in the chocolate industry:

Child workers on chocolate farms work under horrible conditions, and many are held as slaves. Luckily, you don’t have to give up chocolate to avoid supporting these practices.

Make Your Chocolate Child Slavery Free

As Myles mentioned in the video, keeping slavery out of your chocolate is something that’s easy to control. The key to slavery-free chocolate is choosing fair trade. Popular grocery store brands, like Hershey’s, most likely contain a heavy serving of child slavery along with that chocolatey goodness.

Luckily, there are lots of delicious fair trade chocolate brands out there! Here are a few to get you started:

Not only is fair trade chocolate better for workers, it’s usually made with better ingredients.

If your favorite brand of chocolate doesn’t boast fair trade, let them know that it’s important to you! Check the company’s website for contact information and send a letter or email telling them that you won’t be purchasing their products until they can prove that their chocolate is child slavery free.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by PinkStock Photos!


Tags: , , , , ,


About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • http://www.chocolate-earth.com Conrad

    While I do support Green & Black’s Fair-trade effort, it seems to be all in vain if the profits go to its parent company, Kraft, who produces Cadbury, Cote d’Or, Oreo, Nabisco, and Milka, which all commonly use Cargill and ADM (child labor) beans from Cote d’Ivoire. We should be carefully voting with our pocketbooks! The other companies are fine, but there are many more… check out c-spot.com, seventypercent.com, or thechocolatelife.com for more brands to be aware of.

    • http://importantmedia.org/members/beckyanne/ Becky Striepe

      That’s a really good point, and I think it’s a nuanced one. I bet that those big companies would notice if their “conventional” brand sales dropped but fair trade ones had a boost. But I definitely see your point – do you want your money going to Nestle? It’s a tricky one!

  • http://buychocolateonline.org/ Eurochoc

    Nice post. Fortunately some of the more mainstream chocolate companies are starting to produce fair trade chocolate. Callebaut is one example. I believe there is now enough fair trade cocoa produced for all chocolate to be certified fair trade. It’s up to the companies to make sure it is.

  • http://www.rawchocolatebusiness.com Steve

    Exactly what I’ve been teaching my own children. None of us would want our children forced to labor for foreigners until terrible working conditions. Why would we have them eat chocolate grown by other children in this kind of situation? We have to remember the true cost of products and pay that amount. If we don’t, someone else will.

  • Pingback: Hershey’s Accused of Exploiting Workers in a “Chocolate Sweatshop” – Eat Drink Better()

  • MelissaRatti

    If anyone is looking to source their chocolate from companies that don’t source from child labor, child slavery, or any sort of social injustice, there is a wonderful chocolate list on The Food Empowerment Project website: http://www.foodispower.org

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Popular Posts


    Over-the-counter drugs might alleviate your allergy symptoms, but the side effects can be the pits. Try these food-based natural remedies for seasonal allergies instead!

    I love infographics. When I came across this one about what, how, and when to plant vegetables, I thought I’d share. Keep reading after the pic for a few of my own lessons learned.

    Herbal homemade soda is quite simple actually. Almost any herb can be used, and this lavender and lemon combination is cooling and refreshing!

    Do You Think Cilantro Tastes Like Soap? Here’s why.

    Putting a healthy meal together can be difficult on a busy weeknight. These quick, easy, healthy meals make even weeknight cooking a breeze.

    Looking for an all vegan grocery store? Even if you’re not lucky enough to have one in your town, there are lots of online options for vegan grocery shopping.

  • Advertisement

  • Search the IM Network

  • The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by, and do not necessarily represent the views of Sustainable Enterprises Media, Inc., its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.