Page 1


Chocolate Slavery Booklet Step out and stop it: A guide to fighting child labor on cocoa farms

1 Jacob Timothy Lange

Published by Sheila Lange, 6 Anaxagorou Street, 6031 Larnaca, Cyprus Printed in the Republic of Cyprus, first edition 2013. Copyright Š 2013 by Jacob Timothy Lange ISBN (print) 978-9963-2925-0-9 ISBN (eVersion) 978-9963-2925-1-6 The author, as well as the publisher, retains the right to grant usage permissions and other permissions concerning this book. This publication may not be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission from the publisher or author except within the following: (a). For the purpose of non-commercial research or study, up to five hundred (500) words may be quoted without express permission from the publisher or author provided that clear, direct credit is given to the book and author. The quoted words must make up no more than 25% of the work in which they are used. OR (b). For the purpose of non-commercial or commercial criticism or review, up to two hundred (200) words may be quoted without express permission from the publisher or author provided that clear, direct credit is given to the book and author. The quoted words must make up no more than 25% of the work in which they are used. For purposes exceeding the above guidelines, please contact the author or publisher in order to receive permission. Neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibilities for any incorrect information provided in this book. All possible precautions were taken to ensure that all information was provided without omissions or mistakes. All company and organization names and all trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher or author’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published. You can contact the author via


To Judy. You inspire me.

Contents: 1: Chocolate: Revealing the truth 1.1 How chocolate is made 1.2 Child slavery on the news 1.3 How it happens 1.4 Effects on children 1.5 A taste of Côte d’Ivoire 1.6 The past and the present 1.7 Pressure for change 1.8 The Harkin-Engel Protocol

4 5 6 6 7 8 10 11 12

2: Is my chocolate slave-free? 2.1 Fairtrade: a way to make a difference 2.2 The solution 2.3 Who bears the blame? 2.4 Where to buy slave-free chocolate 2.5 Organic chocolate 2.6 Who consumes the most chocolate

12 14 15 16 17 18 18

3: Changing the industry 3.1 What you can do 3.2 Interpol Intervenes 3.3 Coffee 3.4 Other Heroes 3.5 Conclusion

19 19 20 21 22 23

Guide to buying and boycotting Worldwide Cocoa Industry figures List of sources 3

24 26 27


Chocolate: Revealing the truth Chocolate. The very word conjures feelings of pleasure, or at least, that’s how it is for most of us. Sadly, there is also a very dark side to it.

The next time you bite into a chocolate bar or enjoy a cup of hot chocolate you might want to consider a secret, horrible ingredient child slavery. Lots of chocolate production causes human misery that can, and must, be stopped. The connection between chocolate manufacturers and child slavery is one of the world’s best-kept secrets. I’m here to ruin it for you. We can’t look away. Some of the top cocoa-producing nations in West Africa continue to allow slavery, especially Côte dʹIvoire (pronounced koht dee VWAR, and also known as Ivory Coast. See page 8 for more about Côte dʹIvoire). Although throughout Africa slavery is officially illegal, it is often practiced, and enforcement of the law is limited. Real life on a West African cocoa plantation is a far cry from the neat picture painted by the chocolate brands. Every year, thousands of Malian children are sold into slavery and brought into Côte d’Ivoire to work. Côte d’Ivoire produces roughly 40% of the entire world’s cocoa. Altogether, the countries in West Africa supply around 70% of the world’s cocoa. On about 90% of cocoa farms in Côte dʹIvoire children are used. These farms are mostly hidden away where nobody notices, so it is easy get away with it. The US Department of State estimates that more than 109,000 children in Côte dʹIvoire‘s cocoa industry work under “the worst forms of child labor,” and that some 10,000 are victims of human trafficking or enslavement. However, many contradicting reports have been issued, and the real number of slaves in Côte dʹIvoire may be a lot higher. The problem has complex causes. Extreme poverty and low pay from the large chocolate companies force many farmers to cut costs to an extreme in order to survive. Corrupt government systems interfere


with prosecution of traffickers. Few chocolate makers ever do anything about it, and consumers demand the cheapest goods possible.

1.1 How chocolate is made Cacao beans grow in pods about 20cm (8 inches) long that sprout off of the trunk and branches of cacao trees. The pods start out green and turn golden-orange when they聞re ripe. The pods are harvested by hand, using short, hooked blades on poles. Then they are split open From cacao to cocoa: using a machete and the cacao Cacao beans are the seeds from beans, sometimes more than 50 per which cocoa is made. Cocoa pod, are removed. Fresh cacao powder is used to make chocobeans grow inside white husks, late. and do not taste like chocolate at Throughout this book I refer to all. cacao plantations. as cocoa After the beans are extracted from plantations, as that is the the pods, they undergo the product that cacao is made into. fermenting process. If the climate is right, they may be simply heated by the sun. During this time the beans turn brown. This takes five to eight days. Once fermented, they are dried and shipped to factories across the world. The drying process usually takes about a week and results in seeds that are about half of their original weight. In factories, machines will refine the beans to a roasted nib by winnowing (removing the husk) and roasting. At the factories, they will be heated and melted into chocolate liquor. Then the chocolate liquor is mixed with sugar and milk. After the blending process, the liquid chocolate will be delivered to the molding factory in tanks and will be poured into molds. Finally, machines will pack the chocolate and then it will be ready to sell.


1.2 Child slavery on the news The tragic stories of the children involved became known across the USA in 2001 when Knight Ridder newspaper published a series on these slaves. The series profiled young boys who were tricked into slavery, or sold as slaves, to Côte d’Ivoire cocoa farmers. Many major and minor news agencies have published reports about child slavery on cocoa farms, but still it goes on. It seems that many people unfortunately think that all the problems are resolved.

1.3 How it happens Most of the enslaved child workers come from neighboring Mali, which, according to the UN, is the 10th most undeveloped country in the world. Some slaves are from other West African countries, but Mali is the largest slave supplier. Itʹs easy to lure children from povertystricken families where parents sometimes sell their children to ʺrecruitersʺ, assuming their kids will get a chance at a better life. Throughout Africa it is not strange to see children working, as sometimes poor families need their children to work. Some children are apprenticed. So if people see children working, they are not surprised, as this is normal. Sometimes traffickers promise the boys money, bicycles, clothes, food, and a chance to give their parents a better life. Traffickers play on these hopes and dreams, going around certain areas recruiting and sometimes even convincing parents to pay the passage fee from the village to the farms. Sometimes the boys’ families knowingly sell them. Unfortunately, the promises of being able to support their families or afford small luxuries are too good to be true. Once the children, usually boys, have been delivered to the cocoa plantations, itʹs too late. The dreams of new opportunities and of helping their poor families soon disappear along with their hope. The boys, sometimes as young as 8 but usually between 9 and 16, are thrown in small huts and forced to work 80 to 100 hours a week against their will. There is no laughter or play. Their legs soon bear scars from machete injuries, as one of the things they do is hack cocoa pods open using a machete. There are no


first aid kits or protective clothing. Most never see their families again. They have never tasted chocolate and most of them do not even know what chocolate is. They sleep on wooden planks and live in unclean, disgusting huts, only allowed out to work. The only toilet they have is a bucket. Their work is hard, and they sometimes die from it. If they fall down while carrying the big sacks of cocoa beans, then they are beaten with bicycle chains or sticks until they get up. “The beatings were a part of my life,” 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.”

1.4 Effects on children Sometimes slaveholders control their slaves not only with violence, but also with psychological terror: they tell the slaves a tale that they are under a magic spell, and that if they try to run away they will be paralysed. Some still dare to run away. Once recaptured, as they almost always are, the runaways are stripped of their clothes, their hands tied behind their backs, and then viciously whipped over several days with the farmer repeatedly demanding an answer to the impossible question, ʺHow did you break my spell?ʺ Some boys do not survive; those that do are put back to work as soon as they can walk. If their wounds become infected, they can expect no help from their captors, as the captors do not value them. The brutality, isolation, hunger and exhaustion often break the spirits of children. Those very few that survive, and are rescued or escape, bear the scars in their hearts, as well as on their bodies, for years and years. They can also become emotionally isolated. Even after they are no longer in slavery, the children are more fearful of other people and less confident of Life is not a piece of themselves. They also have trouble cake– especially for the readjusting to their families. slaves.


1.5 A taste of Côte dʹIvoire Côte dʹIvoire, (pronounced koht dee VWAR) is a country that lies along the Gulf of Guinea on the west coast of Africa. Capital: Yamoussoukro is the capital of Côte d’Ivoire. Most government business, however, takes place in Abidjan, the economic center and former capital of the country. Abidjan is also Côte d’Ivoireʹs largest city and main port. Official language: French. Area: 322,463 km² (124,504 mi²). Elevation: Highest: Mount Nimba, 1,752 m (5,748 ft). Lowest: sea level. Population: Estimated 2011 population: 20 150 000; density: 64 per km² (166 per mi²). Chief products: Cocoa beans, coffee, and palm oil are Côte d’Ivoireʹs chief exports. Other major exports include bananas, cotton, petroleum products, pineapples, and rubber. Ivorian farmers also grow cassava, corn, rice, and yams; and they raise cattle, sheep, and goats. Flag: The flag has three vertical stripes of orange, white, and green (left to right). Money: Basic unit-CFA franc. CFA stands for Communaute Financiere Africaine (African Financial Community). The countryʹs official name is Republique de Côte dʹIvoire, which is French for Republic of the Ivory Coast. The name first appeared on European maps of West Africa in the late 1600ʹs as Côte des Dents ou de lʹYvoire (Tusk or Ivory Coast). This name referred to the booming coastal trade in elephant tusks at that time. France declared Côte d’Ivoire a colony in 1893, but did not fully control it until 1915. Côte d’Ivoire gained independence in 1960. French is the official language of Côte dʹIvoire. The Jula (Dyula) language, which is used in trade, is most widely spoken. More than half of all Ivorians live in small villages. The villages


typically consist of several compounds. Each compound is made up of groups of homes that house members of an extended family. Village houses have mud walls and thatched or metal roofs. Sharp contrasts exist in housing, health, employment, and education between middle- and upper-income households and poor households in the cities. For example, wealthy and middle-class people live in modern apartment buildings or in spacious villas. The urban poor inhabit densely settled districts that receive few government services. About half the people of Côte d’Ivoire 15 years of age and older can read and write. The University of Cocody in Abidjan is the nationʹs largest institution of higher learning. The land of Côte dʹIvoire rises gradually from the Atlantic Ocean. The eastern part of the coast is flat and sandy. The western part of the coast has small, rocky cliffs. Beyond the coastal strip is a tropical forest, of which much has been cleared to make farmland. In the north, the forest changes to savanna. The forest-covered Guinea highlands rise over 1,500 meters in west-central Côte d’Ivoire. The coastal region is hot and humid. Temperatures there vary from 24 to 28 °C (75-82°F), in the central forest region from 14 to 39 °C (57102°F), and in the northern savanna, the temperature rises to 49 °C (120°F). Cocoa makes up a third of the national income of Côte d’Ivoire. Cash cropping for big foreign corporations has replaced the local farming of the past. This means that the population is dependent on earning money from international markets to be able to buy food they used to grow themselves. Where barter and locally produced food and goods once made life simple and stable, the need for paper money has helped to make Côte d’Ivoire poorer. The national labor laws of the country set the minimum age at 18 for ‘hazardous work;’ at 16 for ‘light underground work;’ and 12 for ‘light agricultural work.’ Legally, children must attend school until they are sixteen years old. However, the harsh conditions on cocoa farms can


not be classified as ‘light agricultural work’. During World War II (1939-1945), feelings of nationalism began to grow among the people of Côte d’Ivoire. After the war ended, France carried out a number of political and economic reforms in the colony. In 1946, for example, France ended its policy of forced labor. These reforms, along with high world market prices after World War II, led to the expansion of African-owned coffee and cacao farms. The government also sponsored studies related to what activities were needed to ensure optimal cocoa growing. As a result of these studies, the farmers of Côte d’Ivoire became extremely good at growing cocoa. Côte d’Ivoire gained independence in 1960. During the 1960ʹs and 1970's, the government borrowed heavily to invest in construction and social development projects. When world market prices for coffee and cacao plunged in the 1980ʹs and 1990ʹs, the country faced severe debt problems. The government obtained new loans from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. As a condition for receiving these loans, Côte d’Ivoire reduced public spending, sold off state-owned companies to private investors, and made other economic reforms.

1.6 The past and the present Today, slavery is illegal in every single country in the world, but that doesn’t mean slavery has ceased to exist. Rather, it has simply changed its form. (For a detailed list of when countries abolished slavery, go to ( In the past, the slave owners had additional costs of taking care of people who didn’t earn their keep, such as infants or old slaves. But by having only slaves who are able to work on the farm and hardly caring for them, they avoid these costs and so increase their profits. In both cases, the slaves are forced to work ‘Auction & Negro Sales’: slaves where sold at slave by violence or the threat of violence, paid markets like this one in nothing or almost nothing, given only Atlanta (USA).


barely enough to keep them working, are not free to leave, and can be killed without legal consequence. In the United States the old slave trade consisted primarily of bringing people against their will from Africa. It was a significant financial investment. Before the Civil War, the cost to purchase the average slave amounted to the equivalent of €40,000 in modern terms. The current price is usually about €70 to €120. The result is that they tend to be treated as even more disposable. Slaves today are so cheap that they’re not even seen as a capital investment anymore. The slave owners don’t take care of their slaves; they just use them up and then throw them away. In Côte d’Ivoire, the slave trade is booming like never before.

1.7 Pressure for change As publicity about the use of child slaves in the chocolate industry mounts higher and higher, so does pressure on the chocolate manufacturers. There is nothing sweet or innocent about slavery. On June 28, 2001, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 291 to 115 to look into setting up a labelling system so people could be sure that no slave labor was used in their chocolate. Unhappy with this, the chocolate industry mounted an intense effort to fight off “slave free” labels for their products. The International Labor Rights Fund actually sued the U.S. government for failing to enforce the laws prohibiting the import of products made with child labor. Since then, several plans have been made to abolish slavery, but always nothing or almost nothing has changed. The Harkin-Engel Protocol (explained below) is, sadly, only one example of empty promises from the slave-using portion of the chocolate industry. Unfortunately, no producer using Côte d’Ivoire cocoa can truthfully state that none of its chocolate was produced by child slavery, as the 90% of slave picked beans are mixed together with the 10% harvested by free field hands. Worldwide, people are rallying for the slaves. You are needed as well.


1.8 The Harkin-Engel Protocol On October 1, 2001, the chocolate industry announced a four year plan to eventually eliminate child slavery in cocoa-producing nations, and particularly West Africa. According to the plan, called the HarkinEngel Protocol, the “worst forms of child labor” would no longer be used to produce chocolate and cocoa by 2005. Larry Graham (president of the Chocolate Manufacturer’s Association from 1992-2003 and founder of the World Cocoa Foundation) said “the industry has changed, permanently and forever.” The agreement was signed by the Chocolate Manufacturers’ Association (now known as the Chocolate Council of the National Confectioners’ Association) and the World Cocoa Foundation; as well as by many chocolate producers and cocoa processors including Hershey’s, Mars, Nestlé, World’s Finest Chocolate, Blommer Chocolate, Guittard Chocolate, Barry Callebaut and Archer Daniels Midland. It was witnessed by a wide variety of groups including the government of Côte d’Ivoire, the International Labor Organization’s child labor office, the anti-slavery group Free the Slaves, the Child Labor Coalition, the International Cocoa Organization (which represents cocoa growing countries), and the National Consumer League. However, 2005 came and went without any significant changes being made. So the deadline was extended to 2008, which was also missed. By 2010, most major chocolate companies had, once again, promised to begin moving toward slave-free chocolate. Some companies, for example Cadbury, have begun the move, but some companies apparently don’t care.


Is my chocolate slave-free?

Many major chocolate makers have insisted that they bear no responsibility for the problem, since they don’t own the cocoa farms. Is there any way for chocolate consumers to know today that they are not consuming products made with child slavery?


Americans are the leading world consumers of chocolate. The U.S. chocolate industry is heavily dominated by Hershey’s, Nestlé and Mars, who control most of the market. Unfortunately, these companies fall into the category of those companies who use large amounts of Côte d’Ivoire cocoa, meaning that their products can be made with up to 90% slave-produced cocoa. Hershey Foods Corp., the US’s largest chocolate-maker, says it is “shocked” and “deeply concerned” that its products (such as Hershey’s Kisses, Nuggets, Hershey chocolate bars and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups,) are made with cocoa produced by child slaves. The company, which has a long history of involvement with children, says it is deeply embarrassed by revelations of indirect involvement with child slavery. Hershey Foods is affiliated with a school for orphaned and disadvantaged children which was established in 1909 by company founder Milton S. Hershey and his wife Catherine. However, Hershey still uses child slavery. The Milton Hershey School Trust, which funds the school, owns controlling interest in The Hershey Company and owns the Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company (HERCO) which oversees many hotels along with a theme park called Hersheypark. With over six billion dollars in assets, the Milton Hershey School is one of the wealthiest schools in the world. Nestlé is also one of the richest companies on earth. Go to page 25 for more information and why people boycott Nestlé. Hershey’s, Nestlé, and Mars are not alone. (A buying guide is on page 24 of this booklet.) While these companies have issued condemnations of slavery, and expressed a great deal of ‘outrage’ that it exists in the industry, they have acknowledged that they use Côte d’Ivoire cocoa and so have no grounds to ensure consumers that their products are slavery-free. Companies like Mars, Hershey, and Nestlé often say that there is no way they can control the labor practices of their suppliers. But there are other chocolate companies who manage to do so, and if the bigger companies really wanted to reform problems in the supply chain, they have the power and ability to do so.


2.1 Fairtrade: a way to make difference Not all trade is fair! Workers don’t always get their fair share of the benefits of trade. Fairtrade is an alternative approach to trading partnerships between producers and consumers. Fairtrade gives producers a considerably better deal with improved, fair terms of trade. This allows them opportunities to improve their lives and their future. When a product carries the FAIRTRADE Mark it means the producers and traders have met Fairtrade Certification standards. Look for this certification mark to be sure that your product is Fairtrade Certified. Consumers can make a significant impact on world slavery just by stopping for a moment and asking themselves how that particular item got to be so cheap. You see a lot of cheap items made in China, for example, and there are serious questions about what happens in Chinese factories. The bottom line is: oftentimes things are cheap because slaves or poorly paid workers helped produce them. Most people, if they can identify slave-produced goods, would avoid them despite their lower price. By always looking for the best deal, we may be choosing slave-made products without knowing what we are buying. We have reason for hope, though, based on how well most people respond to the challenge of slavery — when they know about it. Fortunately, there are people who have taken on the task of informing people about the grim reality, and providing them with empowering alternatives. To learn more about Fairtrade, go to


2.2 The solution Fortunately, the solution is much simpler than the causes, and anybody anywhere can partake in working against child slavery. Everybody is needed, and it is never too soon to start changing the world. The key to solving some of this problem is in a chain reaction: If consumers change their spending habits to reflect a hatred of the child slave trade, then chocolate companies will start producing more and more non-slave chocolate. As companies stop buying Côte d’Ivoire cocoa, the farmers will stop trafficking young people. That is what Fairtrade chocolate can help you do. By buying certified Fairtrade products, consumers can know that none of the chocolate they eat is coming from farms that benefit from child slavery. The more that consumers demand a change in their chocolate’s supply chain, the more larger companies will start to pay attention and see an incentive for change. In addition, many Fairtrade brands put their profits back into the cocoa farms and communities. Instead of supporting child slavery, this chocolate supports education and sustainable farming in nations where children are at a great risk of trafficking.

‘Transporting slaves in Africa’, from ‘Textbook of World History or the History of Humanity’ by William Rednbacher, 1890. (Originally German, ‘Sklaventransport in Afrika’ from ‘Lehrbuch der Weltgeschichte oder Die Geschichte der Menschheit’.)


Chocolate not produced by slaves is indeed awesome, but unfortunately the benefit of eating it does not always reach Côte d’Ivoire, and although the slave trade can be stopped by not buying chocolate produced by slaves, this will still not immediately directly help the child slaves in the Côte d’Ivoire, only put slaveholders out of work. What we really need is for big companies like Nestlé, Kraft Foods, Mars, Hershey’s, General Mills, and Unilever to start helping children in West Africa who are enslaved. How can we make this happen? We need to not only boycott chocolate produced by slaves, but also inform more people and companies about this human rights cause. Together we will fight.

2.3 Who bears the blame? •

Companies who use Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa. Cocoaʹs first consumers are chocolate companies, who have the power and ability to clean up the industry.

Consumers who knowingly buy slave-grown chocolate. By refusing to buy products grown by slaves, consumers can change the world.

Farmers who have the child slaves. The slave driving farmers have started this mess.

Authorities who can stop this. The government of the USA has failed to enforce laws preventing the import of chocolate produced by slaves. The government of Côte d’Ivoire has failed in its duties to prevent child slavery, although the Ivorian government is aware that these illegal activities are going on.. All governments should take an activist stand against child slavery.

If large chocolate-makers had the same amount of motivation to make chocolate as they have in fighting child slavery, the industry would have crumbled long ago. “Hershey continues to drag its feet in dealing with child labor”, reported ILRF (International Labor Rights Forum). "Like Mars and Nestlé, Hershey has not effectively produced transparency or accountability...ʺ Nestlé has been a main target of reformers because ʺunlike other chocolate manufacturers, Nestlé directly sources


cocoa from West Africa and has direct control over its supply chain...” Here are a few of the big companies that are known to use slaveproduced cocoa:

• • • • • • • • •

Mars (also owns Galaxy) Hershey’s Kraft Foods (also owns Cadbury, Nabisco, Toblerone) Nestlé (A list of brands and products owned by Nestlé is at the back of this booklet) General Mills (also owns Häagen Dazs) Lindt and Sprungli (also owns Ghirardelli) Unilever (also owns Algida) Godiva Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Cargill, and Barry Callebaut do not run plantations; they buy the cocoa beans from Ivorian traders and then sell it to chocolate companies.

You can search on the internet if you want more complete information concerning which brands are owned by these listed companies. For information on which chocolate to buy and where to buy it, flip to the guide to buying and boycotting on page 24.

2.4 Where to buy slave-free chocolate Organic Stores Most organic stores sell slave-free chocolate. Global Exchange The leading online supplier of Fairtrade products. Go to Sells organic and Fairtrade chocolate; search by product or brand. Go to Supermarkets Many supermarkets worldwide have Fairtrade products. Talk to store owners and employees and tell them about the problem of child slavery on cocoa farms. Be sure to recommend Fairtrade. If you like, you can recommend this book (it’s website is


2.5 Organic chocolate Some chocolate companies use only organic chocolate in their products. Currently organic chocolate is only grown in the Central and South American regions, and not in West Africa, which makes all organic chocolate slave-free. In Central and South America, cocoa growing conforms to quite high quality and working condition standards, especially in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, the benefit of eating it does not reach Côte d’Ivoire. The very best option is to buy non-slave chocolate from companies that help slaves and cocoa farmers. Fairtrade, for example, works with some slave-free cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire. (Go to page 14 to learn about Fairtrade). Many abolitionist groups encourage the consumption of slave-free chocolate from the West African region when possible. Large companies (like Nestlé) will sometimes make a few organic or Fairtrade products to help their marketing, but still sell other slavemade chocolate products. Companies should prove a true commitment to the cause, as opposed to using the problem of child slavery solely for marketing purposes. However, companies can only sell if someone will buy. If consumers want something different, they will offer it.

2.6 Who consumes the most chocolate? According to MarketsandMarkets, the annual chocolate industry is worth over €63 642 622 200 (US$83 200 000 000), which is not only enormous, but also appalling, considering that most of the people who supply the fuel for the industry, the cocoa farmers, live in poverty. Europeans account for nearly half of all the chocolate the world eats. The average Brit, Swiss or German will each eat around 10-11 kilograms of chocolate a year. In Asia, chocolate is not eaten as much; however Asian markets are expected to hold a 20% share of the global market by 2016. According to Stop the Traffik, only about 0.0075% of the money made by the chocolate industry since 2001 has been invested into improving the conditions of children in West Africa. Africa only accounts for about 3 percent of worldwide chocolate cunsumtion. Go to page 26 for import, export and consumption figures.



Changing the industry We need to show the chocolate industry that it’s time to change. In fact, it was time to change a long time ago. We, the consumers, have the power.

3.1 What you can do 1.

Get informed. Get armed with information so that you know how to fight better.


Use your influence. Alert friends, family, and co-workers about child slavery. Get more people to fight for this human rights cause!


Change the System. If you are in any position of authority, use your power to help.


Raise funds for abolitionist programs and organizations:, or another group.


Buy Fairtrade. Consumers hold all the power. There are many companies and organizations that help third world artisans, farmers, and enterprises get fair prices for their goods. This strengthens communities and families’ economic independence. Go to or to learn more or go to page 14 of this book.


Inform companies that you expect them to clean up their supply chain and be slave-free. Share what you’ve learned about slavery particularly to companies who deal in coffee, chocolate, clothing, and handcrafted goods, and find out if they know about Fairtrade alternatives. Tell the companies that they need to identify and take responsibility for every farm producing their cocoa worldwide, change to Fairtrade Certified cocoa, and organize, encourage and fund education programs and anti-slavery campaigns.



Help your church, school, or company become slave-free by using only Fairtrade coffee and supplies.


Inform your local and national government officials about modern-day slavery, and ask them to commit time and resources to help.


Support education for children or anti-slavery campaigns around the world. A few recommendations are:,,, and


Never give up on trying to make a difference.

A quick internet search will turn up dozens of addresses for various companies in lots of different countries. They are too many to list here. Don’t know who to look up? Flip to the Buying and Boycotting guide at the back of this booklet.

3.2 Interpol intervenes On the 18th and 19th of June, 2009, Interpol led an operation conducted by Côte d’Ivoire police. Nearly 300 Ivorian law enforcement officers took part in the two-day operation, during which eight teams simultaneously targeted a selection of plantations believed to be using illegal child labour. On the main roads leading from Ghana, vehicles were systematically checked for potential victims of the slave trade. Codenamed BIA after the river which makes up the border of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, the operation resulted in the rescue of 54 children of seven different nationalities, as well as the arrest of eight people in connection with the child slavery. The children, having been bought by plantation owners who needed cheap harvesters for the cocoa and palm plantations, were discovered working under extreme conditions, forced to carry massive loads seriously endangering their health and safety. Aged between 11 and 16, children explained that they were regularly forced to work 12 hours a day. They received neither salary nor education. Girls were usually purchased as house maids and would work a seven-day week all year


round, often in addition to their work in the plantations. According to the specially trained investigators in child exploitation and trafficking who interviewed the victims, none of the children were aware that what was happening to them is illegal. In order to tackle the increasing child trafficking and exploitation in this South Eastern part of Côte d’Ivoire, the operation was planned by Interpol’s Regional Bureau in Abidjan in conjunction with Ghanaian and Côte d’Ivoire police authorities. Based on local intelligence gathered in advance of the operation, specific plantations were targeted. Operation BIA was conducted under Interpol’s programme of Operational Assistance, Services and Infrastructure Support (OASIS) to African Police Forces, funded by Germany, which is aimed at developing operational policing capacities in Africa. Support was also provided by the German governmental organization GTZ which provides sustainable solutions for political, economic, ecological and social development. It is believed that hundreds of thousands of children are working illegally in the plantations across these two countries alone. The trafficking of children is often disguised by the practice of apprenticing children (see page 6). In reality, they are often sold and their rights to education, health and protection are denied.

3.3 Coffee Chocolate isn’t the only food produced by slaves. Some coffee beans are also processed by slaves. In addition to producing nearly half of the world’s cocoa, Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s fourth-largest grower of Robusta coffee. Robusta beans are used for espresso and instant coffees. They are also blended with milder Arabica beans to make ground coffees. Often, coffee and cocoa are grown together on the same farm. The tall cacao trees shade the shorter coffee bushes. On some Côte d’Ivoire


farms, child slaves harvest coffee beans as well as the cacao pods. More than 7,000 tons of Côte d’Ivoire coffee arrives in the U.S. each year. Just like with chocolate, coffee beans picked by slaves are often mixed together with those picked by paid workers. Some coffee industry executives acknowledge the use of slaves, but say the labor issue isn’t their concern. The U.S. is the world’s largest consumer of both chocolate and coffee. To become Fairtrade Certified, an importer must meet tight international regulations including paying the farmers a certain minimum price. This is a major step, because coffee prices on the world market currently run very low, trapping many coffee farmers in poverty, debt, and hunger. When consumers purchase Fairtrade coffee or chocolate, they know that their money is going to local farmers where it will be invested in health care, education, environmental care, community development, and economic independence. They know it’s not going to CEOs who are making millions annually. It is not easy to swallow the reality of such excess when millions of coffee and cocoa farmers around the world who depend on their harvests to provide for their families are facing debt and starvation. There seems to be something particularly hideous and sad about making this kind of money on the backs of the world’s poorest people.

3.4 Other heroes Many oriental carpets used to be hand-woven by adult and child slaves who were forced to work in the most miserable of conditions for little or no pay. But then some European activists working from a tiny office with minimal funds started the Rugmark Campaign. In order to earn the “Rugmark,” carpet producers had to agree to cooperate with independent monitors, not to exploit children, and to turn over one percent of their carpet wholesale price to child-welfare organizations. An expert monitoring team was created that can detect fake labels and knows carpet making inside and out. The one percent from the producers has now built and staffed two Rugmark schools in the part of India where uneducated children were at risk of being used for the slave trade. The campaign has drawn the attention of other organizations, with the result that the German government and the


United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) now fund other schools in the areas that used to be recruiting grounds for the carpet belt. Throughout all of history, people have oppressed other people. And throughout history, heroes have risen up. It is clear that, once aware, most people do not want to buy chocolate, coffee, rugs, or any other product made with slave labor. Given a chance, most consumers do not want to harm the people who make the products they consume.

3.5 Conclusion Companies can only sell things if people buy them. Consumers have the power. As a consumer, use that power! Start making a difference. You have the knowledge after reading this, so change the world! Be a hero.

For further reading For a list of great anti-slavery reading recommendations, go to ery.html A quick web search will bring up lots of results. 23

Guide to buying and boycotting Boycotting something as major as most of the chocolate industry is not easy. But it’s a vital step in showing the chocolate industry that it’s time to change. In fact, it was time to change a long time ago. Remember that we, the consumers, are the people who have the power. Companies won’t produce products if not enough people buy them. Then they will have to turn to an alternative that people will buy: products made with Fairtrade Certified cocoa. So when you buy chocolate, buy Fairtrade Certified chocolate! This way we can show the entire industry that they need to change. Fairtrade Certified products extend to a wide variety of things, not just chocolate and coffee. When you can, buy Fairtrade.

Don’t buy: Ben & Jerry’s Chocolates by Bernard Callebaut Fowler’s Chocolate General Mills (owns Häagen Dazs) Godiva Guittard Chocolate Company Hershey’s (produces Reese’s) Kraft Foods: (owns Nabisco, Toblerone and Cadbury*) Lindt and Sprungli (owns Ghirardelli) Mars (owns Galaxy) Nestlé See’s Candies The Chocolate Vault Unilever (owns Algida and Breyer’s Ice Cream)

Do Buy: Fairtrade chocolate. Please note that even though some products of a brand may be Fairtrade Certified, not all of the products are necessarily Fairtrade Certified. If we buy Fairtrade Certified products from brands that use Côte d’Ivoire cocoa, then they may start producing more Fairtrade Certified products.

For example, Nestlé offers Fairtrade certified KitKats as well as their regular KitKats. They are identical except for the source of cocoa which is used. If consumers lean more towards Fairtrade Basically, anything not listed in certified KitKats, then Nestlé may change its preferences. the ‘Do buy’ list. Organic Chocolate, for instance grown in Costa Rica. See page18 for more information.

*Cadbury products contain roughly 90% Fairtrade Certified cocoa, and it is moving towards being 100%Fairtrade Certified. 24

Boycotting Nestlé Many people boycott Nestlé for various reasons. Nestlé has been involved in several skirmishes over the years, and although you can find quite a lot of info on the Nestlé website about them helping cocoa farmers, Nestlé is, unfortunately, actually using Côte d’Ivoire cocoa. For those who may want to boycott Nestlé, here is a list of brands and products by Nestlé to help you identify those products. Even though you may have to go without some of your favourite foods, we need to show Nestlé that it’s got to change. Go to to learn about another reason to boycott Nestlé. Brands and products by Nestlé Aero After Eight Animal Bar Aqua Panna Bakers Complete Beta Black Magic Blue Riband Bonio Breakaway Build-up Buxton Caramac Carnation Cerelac Cheerios Coffee-Mate Cookie Crisp Crunch Dairy Box Disney Fromage Frais Drifter Double Cream lollies Extreme lollies FAB lollies

FÉ Café Parisien Felix Force Flakes Friskies Fruit Crunch Fruit Gums Fruit Pastille Funtastic Traybake Go-Cat Golden Nuggets Gourmet Heaven Herta Jelly Tots Juicy Jellies Kit Kat Lion Bar Maxibon ice cream Milky Bar Mint Crisp lollies Mivvi lollies Munch Bunch Munchies Nescafé Nesquik Nobbly Bobbly lollies


Oats & More Orange Maid lollies Peptamen Junior Perrier Polo Powwow Pure Life water Purina Quality Street Resource Rolo Rowntree’s San Pellegrino Shredded Wheat Shreddies Ski Skinny Cow Smarties Toffee Crisp Toffee Crumble lollies Tooty Frooties Vittel Walnut Whip Winalot Yorkie Zoom lollies

When boycotting a brand, it is best if one not only goes by the list of products but also checks every product to see if the brand is owned by the brand you are boycotting. For example, did you know that Maxwell House and Jacob’s are owned by Kraft Foods? Please note that any omissions or incorrect information are accidental. If there are any omissions or mistakes, please go to and click on ‘Contact’. Corrections will be included in following editions. Thank you.

Here is some information concerning the world cocoa industry, according to the International Cocoa Organization, which represents cocoa growing countries. Raw cocoa Net worldwide exports exports, 2008- Africa – 76.8% 2009: Asia and Oceania – 16.9% America – 6.19%

Top five exporters Côte d’Ivoire – 37.01% Ghana – 19.16% Indonesia – 15.33% Nigeria – 8.71% Cameroon – 7.03%

Raw cocoa importers, 2008-2009:

Net worldwide importers Europe– 58.87% America – 27.25% Asia and Oceania – 12.12% Africa – 1.7%

Top five importers United States – 20.96% Germany – 13.20% Belgium – 6.28% UK – 5.63% France – 5.47%

Chocolate consumption:

2008-2009 chocolate consumption Europe – 49.32% North America – 24.22% (USA only – 20.19%) Asia and Oceania – 14.49% South America – 8.68% Africa – 3.28%

2008 per capita chocolate consumption Germany – 11.39 kg Switzerland – 10.77 kg UK – 10.31 kg Norway – 9.8 kg Denmark – 8.57 kg Belgium – 6.8 kg Australia – 5.96 kg USA – 5.09 kg Brazil- 2.48 kg Japan – 2.15 kg


Sources: Anti-Slavery British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Cable News Network (CNN) Daily Mail Fairtrade Free the Slaves ICCO International Cocoa Organization International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) International Labour Rights Forum (ILRF) International Labour Organization Interpol MarketsandMarkets Stop the Traffik United Nations Childrenʹs Fund (UNICEF) United States Agency for International Development (USAID) World Bank World Book 2007 (Article: Côte d’Ivoire, contributed by Thomas J. Bassett, Ph.D., Professor of Geography, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.) Please note that when the author was researching for this booklet, no information was used unless it was stated to be so by several reliable sources. All company and organization names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. You can read this book online or download the Kindle version for free at

Thanks for reading! 27

Boycotting something as major as most of the chocolate industry is not easy. But it’s a vital step in showing the chocolate industry that it’s time to change. In fact, it was time to change a long time ago. We, the consumers, have the power. The next time you bite into a chocolate bar or enjoy a cup of hot chocolate you might want to consider a secret, horrible ingredient - child slavery. Lots of chocolate production causes human misery that can, and must, be stopped. The connection between chocolate manufacturers and child slavery is one of the world’s best-kept secrets. Real life on a West African cocoa plantation is a far cry from the neat picture painted by the chocolate brands. I’m here to ruin it for you. We can’t look away. In this book, you will learn about child slavery on cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire and how to fight it.

€1.00 Human Rights ISBN (print) 978-9963-2925-0-9 ISBN (eVersion) 978-9963-2925-1-6 Published by Sheila Lange 28


Interesting article

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you