I found a new brand of chocolate that is dairy free and delicious. What I also liked about it is that it is a fair trade product and the product is also produced in the country of origin. (Link)
I was so excited about it that I decided to take some to work with me so that I can expose some of my colleagues to really good quality chocolate that is dairy free and not the cheap and nasty commercial “chocolate-like” product that most people consume by the bucket load, without ever considering the impact of supporting the chocolate industry.
They liked it, however, they made statements, like “but how much did it cost”. That made me realise that most people don’t really want to know what their money is contributing to in the world. When I briefly mentioned how the chocolate industry is linked to child slavery and general exploitation of people, animals and natural resources, they seem to shrug and disregard that they are part of the problem.
When you purchase cheap, commercial chocolate, you are contributing to the issues as documented below:
There are many more sites with information linked to this issue, you just need to look for it (ask the questions).
Quick facts (full details and references included in the above links):
- children as young as 7 years start working as harvesters on the cacao farms
- most of the children working on the farms never get to taste the end product – chocolate
- child labor, trafficking and slavery are rife in the chocolate industry that produces some of the world’s best-known brands
- these children are forced to do hard manual labor 80 to 100 hours a week. They are paid nothing, are barely fed, are beaten regularly, and are often viciously beaten if they try to escape. Most will never see their families again
If everyone only supported companies that were ethical and responsible, it will make a difference. It all starts with you.