How could chocolate possibly be more delicious than it already is??

For now, chocolate is a bitter sweet«

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284,000 children toil in abusive labor conditions in West Africa¶s cocoa fields Cocoa companies pay prices so low that many cocoa farmers cannot meet their families¶ basic needs

But we can fix all that...with Fair Trade certified chocolate:

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Forced and abusive child labor are prohibited Farming families earn a price that is adequate to meet their basic human needs Environmentally sustainable production methods are required

Take Action
Online, in your own community, or even just when you¶re buying chocolate! If every single one of us takes just a minute or two for an online fax action or more time to take action in our communities, together we WILL end child slavery in the cocoa fields.

Fair Trade Month: Chocolate Edition Why we need Fair Trade chocolate: Child labor, forced labor, and child trafficking in the cocoa industry are rampant. In West Africa, especially in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, children are forced to harvest cocoa for long hours, kept out of school, and paid little or nothing at all for their work. They are abused, exploited, and suffer lasting physical and psychological injuries. Cocoa farmers use child labor because it's cheap, and it allows them to pass that savings onto distributors and buyers. Buyers look for cheap cocoa because major chocolate companies want to buy the cheapest cocoa available. And chocolate companies are buying bargain basement cocoa because consumers like you and me are looking for cheap chocolate. Fair Trade cocoa helps end that cycle. If consumers buy more Fair Trade chocolate, companies will buy more Fair Trade cocoa. And in order to be the suppliers of that cocoa, farm owners will need to get Fair Trade certified. That means getting rid of children and

forced labor and trafficking. At the same time. Whole Foods and Trader Joe's both have a pretty big selection of Fair Trade chocolate bars. spraying pesticides. The new report provides upsetting evidence that little progress has been made and backs up the arguments frequently made by advocates. You can tell big chocolate CEO's we want Fair Trade chocolate. border police and guards in Cote d¶Ivoire and Ghana receive almost no training in dealing with child trafficking and are unaware of policies and intervention strategies related to dealing with child trafficking. Families in the community have more money. and and you're eating slave-free chocolate. The Tulane University report also analyzes the progress made by the cocoa industry on each aspect of the Harkin-Engel Protocol and found that overall there was an uneven and incomplete implementation of the agreement. and using machetes. hiring free adults (sometimes the kids' parents). including land clearing and burning. The report recommends that chocolate companies increase their volume of cocoa that is certified by independent programs . performing hazardous work. children are in school. The Protocol was a voluntary agreement signed by major chocolate companies in 2001 that committed them to certify that the worst forms of child labor were not used in the production of their chocolate. carrying heavy loads. and even chocolatehazelnut spread (a la Nutella). hot chocolate mix.slave laborers. and paying them a living wage. among other dangerous activities. and we want it now! Tasked with providing Congress with an annual. Unsurprisingly. restrictions of their freedom of movement. Where to find Fair Trade chocolate: Fair Trade chocolate is increasingly available at grocery stores and markets around the country. physical and sexual harassment. New research related to the trafficking of young workers from Burkina Faso and Mali found that most of them moved to Cote d'Ivoire without their natural parents or guardians. only a miniscule percentage of respondents who had experienced trafficking and the worst forms of child labor benefited from any sort of intervention or assistance. The new report identifies the ongoing exploitation of labor rights in the cocoa sector including the worst forms of child labor. The report is currently the best place to learn about ongoing abuses on cocoa farms and to find an an impartial assessment of the efforts companies have made to improve conditions. here are some popular brands available online: y y y y y Divine Chocolate Equal Exchange Green and Black's Theo Chocolate Sweet Earth Chocolates How to promote Fair Trade chocolate: Child and slave labor in the chocolate industry will continue as long as major chocolate companies are looking for cheap cocoa at any price. Virtually all respondents in the survey of migrant workers experienced the worst forms of child labor including: verbal. the Payson Center for International Development at Tulane University released its fourth annual report. But if you can't find a place to pick up some Fair Trade chocolate near you. impartial assessment of chocolate industry efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor from the cocoa industry.

global chocolate sales in 2008 totaled US $62. The main entity developed through the Harkin-Engel Protocol to fund programs on the ground like this is the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI). ICI s aggregate operating-to-program expenditure ratio between 2002 and 2009 was 52:48. From 2001 through 2009.5 times the amount to date in Cote d Ivoire and 28. They are one of the most heavily traded commodities in the world. Now the BBC's Paul Kenyon. ICI programs in Cote d Ivoire cover a mere 2. Earlier this month. like Fair Trade. posing as a cocoa bean buyer.8 times the current amount in Ghana in order to achieve the goals it has established for the end of this year. The report also investigates the work of industry-funded programs that are implemented on the ground in West Africa for the purpose of eliminating child labor and improving the lives of cocoa farmers. You can check out more highlights from the report online here. you can tell big chocolate CEOs that we want Fair Trade cocoa now.29% of cocoa growing communities and 3% of cocoa growing communities in Ghana. surveyed organizations in Ghana received only $4. In investigating the ICI. Chocolate: The Bitter Truth Reporter: BBC Broadcast: 03/05/2010 Cocoa beans are the basic ingredients of chocolate. In Europe. The report should be a wake-up call to companies like Hershey that more responsible purchasing policies are urgently needed. revealing that despite Fairtrade's best efforts unscrupulous cocoa suppliers still try and cheat the system.3 million USD from industry partners (less than government and other stakeholders combined) and surveyed organizations in Cote d Ivoire received only $1. major chocolate makers have signed up to Fairtrade programs. claiming some of their products are made without abusive labour practices. ***************************************************** . the industry would need to spend 42. The Better Business Bureau recommends that charitable organizations spend at least 65% of total expenses on program activities. The findings of the report support the demands that advocates have been making of chocolate companies for years. As a result.1 billion. no remediation interventions targeting this abuse is in place in either Cote d Ivoire or Ghana.outside of the "certification" program developed under the Harkin-Engel Protocol. Or. puts those claims to the test. the research team found: y y y y While Tulane s research and that of the West African governments confirmed the presence of forced adult labor in the cocoa sector.2 million USD in the same time period while government and other stakeholders provided ove four times as much funding r combined. The Tulane report notes that almost all major chocolate companies are shifting toward certified cocoa and encourages this development. but Hershey is lagging behind competitors in this area. While the ratio has shifted recently. four organizations released a report focusing on Hershey's corporate social responsibility policies and recommended that the company increase its sourcing of Fair Trade Certified cocoa. Meanwhile.

who took 12 year old Fatao from his home in Burkina Faso to work in Ghana. He is just 12 years old and each day he works with a machete harvesting cocoa beans on a farm in Ghana. In the United States. According to the people buying and selling cocoa there are very few checks and balances and very little . In a number of locations he found the cocoa bean suppliers approved by the Fairtrade initiative did in fact use child labour. are forced to work for little or no pay to harvest cocoa beans. the work is dirty and exhausting and he is paid no money. others were exposed by the BBC investigation. companies including Mars and Nestle agreed to sign up to a six point plan to protect children in the chocolate industry. after a major political campaign. And we have then launched an investigation on the ground together with the farmers to understand why this problem occurred. But does the Fairtrade label applied to those chocolates in Britain really guarantee that? To test that question BBC reporter Paul Kenyon went undercover trying to trace the beans that went into Fairtrade products." In the United Kingdom 10 chocolate bars from different companies now have a Fairtrade logo. where it occurred." Not content to simply point out the shortcomings in the system reporter Paul Kenyon then confronts the child trafficker of "cocoa slaves". Some were exposed by a Fairtrade audit. The hours are long. His situation is not unique. chocolate stating which brands are free of child labour. He calls on the local police and forces the man into handing over the young boy and then manages to re-unite him with his mother. Some are trafficked and moved from country to country to work illegally. Major chocolate makers acknowledge there are problems involving the use of children. It is perhaps a small piece of good news. and what it has done is given these cocoa companies several years of cover. and that their safety and their future is looked after.His name is Fatao. some less than ten years of age. For chocolate lovers that logo is supposed to guarantee children have not been employed illegally in the making of the chocolate. Harriet Lamb from the Fairtrade Foundation made it clear she was shocked by the revelations: "We're extremely concerned about your findings and obviously the first priority must be to make sure always that the children concerned are taken care of.S. millions and millions of dollars. What he found will shock many chocolate lovers. and to see what we can do to prevent it happening in the future. For some activists. Across parts of Africa thousands of children. Their treatment breaks international labour laws and yet in many cases very little is done to stop this modern day slavery. but it does not hide the fact that right now bags of cocoa beans produced by children are being mixed with "legal" produce. Nine years on though there is still no logo on U. But the beans he harvests underpin a massive industry that nets companies. in the developed world. this is a completely unacceptable situation: "Well I think anyone involved in it would have to admit that it's been a complete failure. including Terry Collingsworth from International Rights Advocates.

but is it costing a small child their freedom and their future? .foolproof labelling to show how a product has been produced. That means the chocolate bar you eat today might be satisfying .

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