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Beware of These 7 Popular Chocolate Brands that Exploit Child Slaves


Here’s a handy guide to help avoid buying Halloween treats produced by child slaves.

Americans spend over a billion dollars every Halloween on chocolate, accounting for 10% of most chocolate company’s annual revenue. And the average American citizen eats over 11 pounds of chocolate a year. So this Halloween, use your money to let them know that child slavery will not be tolerated by American consumers.

Last September, a lawsuit was filed against eight companies – including Hershey, Mars, and Nestle – alleging that the companies were duping consumers into “unwittingly” funding the child slave labor trade in West Africa, home to two-thirds of the world’s cacao beans.

Cocoa-Child-Laborer

Worker ages range from 11-16 (sometimes younger). They are trapped in isolated farms, where they work 80 to 100 hours a week. The film Slavery: A Global Investigation spoke with freed children who reported that they were often beaten with fists and belts and whips.

The beatings were a part of my life,” Aly Diabate, a freed slave, told reporters. “Anytime they loaded you with bags (of cocoa beans) and you fell while carrying them, nobody helped you. Instead they beat you and beat you until you picked it up again.”

To help you avoid supporting slavery this Halloween, Here are seven chocolate companies that benefit from child slave labor:

Hershey

Mars

Nestle

ADM Cocoa

Godiva

Fowler’s Chocolate

Kraft

Elfenbeinkueste, Sinikosson, Kakaoplantage, Kakao, Plantage, Anbau, Landwirtschaft, Junge, Portrait, Kind, Kinderportrait, Kinderarbeit, Einheimischer, Bevoelkerung, Westafrika, Afrika, 02.10.2008. QF English: Ivory Coast, Sinikosson, cocoa plantation, agriculture, cultivation, boy, portrait, child labour, chocolate, West Africa, October 2, 2008. 11 year old Ibra, using a machete tied to a stick to harvest cocoa pods from a tree on father's cocoa plantation on outskirts of village of Sinikosson. He does not attend school, work begins at 8 am. He has no idea what happens to the cocoa beans. || Kakao an der Elfenbeinkueste. Der 11-jaehrige Ibra erntet mit seiner Machete reife Kakaofruechte auf der Kakaoplantage seines Vaters am Rande des Dorfs Sinikosson. Er besucht keine Schule, die Arbeit beginnt in der Regel um 8 Uhr morgens und umfa??t das abschneiden der Fruechte, einsammeln, mit der Machete aufschlagen, Bohnen entnehmen... Die Familie lebt von der Hand in den Mund und kann keinerlei Ruecklagen bilden. Der Verkauf der Kakaobohnen bildet fuer sie die einzige veritable Einnahmequelle. Ibra weiss nicht was anschliessend mit den Bohnen geschieht. Kakao ist der Grundstoff zur Herstellung von Schokolade. Das Land ist weltgroesster Kakaoproduzent und -exporteur, mit einer Ernte von ca. 1 Million Tonnen in 2008. Damit hat es einen Anteil von ca. 34 % der weltweiten Gesamtproduktion. Hauptsaechlich bedingt durch Koruption in Regierung und Kakaobehoerden und dem Eigeninteresse multinationaler Konzerne (Cargill, ADM, Callebaut, Nestl?Ê) ist das Einkommen der Erzeuger (Kleinbauern) kaum existenzsichernd. Als direkte Folge und mangels Alternativen sind Kinderarbeit und Ausbeutung, bis hin zu Kinderhandel, weit verbreitet. Schulen, Krankenhaeuser, fliessendes Wasser, Strom, Telekommunikation und ausgebaute Strassen existieren in gro??en Teilen der Anbaugebiete nicht. Als Kakao bezeichnet man die Samen des Kakaobaumes (Kakaobohnen). Die reifen, je nach Sorte gr??ngelb bi

Legislation nearly passed in 2001 in which the FDA would implement “slave free” labeling on the packaging. Before the legislation made it to a vote, the chocolate industry – including Nestle, Hershey, and Mars – used its corporate money to stop it by “promising” to self-regulate and end child slavery in their businesses by 2005. This deadline has repeatedly been pushed back, with the current goal now at 2020.

Meanwhile, the number of children working in the cocoa industry has increased by 51 percent from 2009 to 2014.

As one freed boy put it: “They enjoy something I suffered to make; I worked hard for them but saw no benefit. They are eating my flesh.”

Here is a list of more socially conscious companies who have made a point to avoid profiting off the suffering of child labor:

Clif Bar

Green and Black’s

Koppers Chocolate

L.A. Burdick Chocolates

Denman Island Chocolate

Gardners Candie

Montezuma’s Chocolates

Newman’s Own Organics

Kailua Candy Company

Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company

Rapunzel Pure Organics

The Endangered Species Chocolate Company

Cloud Nine

 

 

(CORRECTION: This article previously listed the Guittard Chocolate Company, See’s Candies, and Chocolates by Bernard Callebaut in the list of chocolate companies that use child labor, which we have learned is incorrect. This article also listed Dagoba Organic Chocolate as a company that doesn’t rely on child slave labor. US Uncut has since learned that Dagoba Organic Chocolate was purchased by Hershey’s, one of the candy companies listed here that uses child slaves. We have since amended the list accordingly and apologize for any errors.)



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