The report, A Taste of Slavery: How Your Chocolate May be Tainted notes that 43% of the world's cocoa beans come from West Africa where most workers are boys aged 12 and 16. However, some are as young as 9.
"The lucky slaves live on corn paste and bananas. The unlucky ones are whipped, beaten and broken like
horses to harvest the almond-sized beans that are made into chocolate treats for more fortunate children in
Europe and America."
Read the whole thing in PDF here and more on cocoa farming slavery here.
You can help by buying Fair Trade cocoa which does not contain cocoa from such farms. A list of those companies is here.
You can also drive change by:
- Writing to your local politico to complain and demand change,
- Writing to your favourite chocolate company to demand change,
- And to educate others about what's going on via Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Join the Facebook group Stop Chocolate Slavery (Buy Fair Trade!).
Also, when February comes round, make Valentine's Day a "slave-free" Day.
For Malaysians, the Nestle contact page is here. For others, you can write to Kraft who own Cadbury and Hershey, Anyone who knows of an NGO that deals with this, please put the details in a comment box, OK?
This post was inspired by Splendid Little Stars who mentioned the other day that slavery is alive and well in the US, and other places around the world. Thanks!