For the Love of Chocolate

Friday, October 1, 2010
I am a self-confessed chocoholic. I could eat chocolate any time of the day or night. In the last couple of years I have learned a whole lot more about this delicious treat, and it is not about its calorie count. It is something that to be honest I would rather not know, and I could keep on eating whatever chocolate I want guilt free, apart, of course from the added excess to my hips and bum.

More than 70% of the worlds cocoa supply comes from West Africa, the countries Ghana and the Ivory Coast, and much of the work on the fields, harvesting is done by children. Not children who are working to provide for their families, but children who have been stolen or forced into slave labour. Children who have to work with "child sized" machetes with serious and very real risk of death or disfiguring injuries. Would you trust an 8 year old with a machete? I wouldn't, no matter what the size.

We have been jumping for joy lately that an Aussie favourite, Cadbury, has decided to make
their dairy milk bar 'fair trade'. Meaning that no child labour will be used in the harvesting of the cocoa beans, and the farmers will get a fair market price for their produce, and this of course is fantastic. I often think to myself , why are they getting all these congratulations, and pats on the back for not exploiting people. Shouldn't that just be the norm, that we don't take advantage of people less fortunate than us just so that we can get a better deal. The reality is, it is far from the norm. So many companies in so many industries for generations have been exploiting others so that they can get what they want and of course, make more money, and we, the consumer, un-knowlingly, or dare I say, un-caringly (in some cases), go along with it, no questions asked. If we make some noise, this doesn't have to be the norm any more. We don't remember the days when it was the norm to have slaves in England and America, but that used to be the norm too, until a small group of people rallied together for change, and now, we wonder how those generations could have thought it was ok. Do we want the future generations to think the same about us?

This is a great link with more information and actions that we can all take to tackle modern day slavery.
And if you want to learn more about Fair Trade:
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