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!

6 thoughts on “Chocolate and Child Slavery”

  1. 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,, or for more brands to be aware of.

    1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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:

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