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Why Buy Fair Trade Chocolate?

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Nothing Sweet About Most Chocolate

According to this video, every year nearly 200,000 children are illegally trafficked in West and Central Africa to harvest cocoa. They live as slaves on cocoa farms, working under the constant threat of violence. They receive no education, and work with dangerous tools like machetes, along with harmful chemical fertilizers.

It is easy to find Fair Trade chocolate these days at any health food store, and even in supermarkets. You can rest assured that you are not supporting this cruel industry.

When you support Fair Trade chocolate and other products, you are endorsing an economic system that provides opportunities for producers to lift themselves out of poverty. The farmers are paid fair prices for their products and labor. It gives them more direct market access which removes many of the middle-men who traditionally have reaped the majority of the profits. In addition, Fair Trade provides a set of requirements that assure consumers that strict standards have been met to protect the environment, build economic sustainability, empower women, and allow opportunities for education, poverty alleviation, and health care.

The organization that created this video is It is a campaign to make Hershey Fair Trade and join others in the industry that boycott child forced labor.

From their website:

"More than ten years since chocolate companies committed to ending child labor, forced labor, and trafficking in their cocoa supply chains, these egregious labor rights abuses continue. While many chocolate companies have taken steps to ensure that workers’ and children’s rights are protected, the Hershey Company lags behind its competitors. Hershey has no policies in place to trace its cocoa and certify that no child labor has been used to harvest its cocoa."

Take action by passing this video along to friends and family, buying fair trade products, and sign petitions at:

--Bibi Farber