Chocolate is a food product of the cacao bean and forced child slavery. The cacao bean generally grows in the tropical climates of Latin America and West Africa. 45 – 75% of the world’s chocolate comes from cacao production in West Africa’s Ivory Coast and Ghana as a result of child slave operations.
Although it is known as the cacao bean, its almost always referred to as cocoa. The chocolate produced as a result of child slave labor is said to be sold to the mega-powers in the industry like Hershey’s, Mars and Nestlé.
Slavery in the Chocolate Industry
- 3 million tons of chocolate are consumed each year, over half of that tonnage in Europe, and people all over the world enjoy and love the food.
- Africa’s children probably don’t enjoy chocolate as much as the general public. They are forced to labor as slaves on the cocoa plantations in Africa to produce it.
- A Swiss company, Barry Callebaut, is the largest supplier of the cocoa mass which is used to produced the food. Most of it from Africa where its said to be a product of child labor.
- Children are said to be smuggled from Mali to the Ivory Coast and forced into slavery.
- Conducting investigative journalism on the subject child slavery in the chocolate industry can be dangerous.
[Related News Item – Disappeared: Guy-André Kieffer missing in Ivory Coast]
- Gourmet chocolate doesn’t seem very gourmet anymore does it?
- 1 pound of cacao costs about one dollar and can produce close to 40 chocolate bars.
- Plenty of children are seen working on plantations in this documentary.
- It costs about 300$ to buy a child slave. The price includes delivery and permanent use of the child. Most of the children never get paid for their work. Some escape.
- Nestlé has been doing business on the Ivory Coast for over half a century which amounts to over 50 years of profiting from an area proven to use child slave labor to produce chocolate sold.