Right now, thousands of young children are held in slavery in Western Africa, harvesting the cocoa that is used to produce chocolate for many of the worlds largest candy companies. These children are beaten, raped, forced to work with untreated wounds, and denied access to schooling and medical care. They are not allowed to leave and are threatened daily with violence. They are child slaves producing what should be a delicious and simple joy of childhood: chocolate.
The best way to free these children and end child slavery in the chocolate industry is for major chocolate companies like Hershey to buy Fair Trade Certified cocoa. Other large chocolate companies like Cadbury and Mars have recently made the decision to end child slavery in Africa; it’s time for Hershey to do the same. As customers of Hershey products, we must ask them to stand with us against child slavery.
For more infomation about the campaign to ask Hershey to end child slavery in cocoa farming, please visit the International Labor Rights Forum.
With a label from an independent third party Fair Trade certifier, we consumers have a way of knowing that Hershey is working to respect farmers and the environment, and to end abusive child labor in the cocoa industry. Fair Trade is the only label that gives farmers a fair price for their cocoa beans so they can support their families and escape poverty. Other large chocolate companies including Cadbury and Mars have made recent commitments to buying Fair Trade Certified cocoa, which have been publicly applauded. Fair Trade cocoa can make a difference toward ending child slavery.
I believe Hershey shares my commitment to ending child slavery in Africa and values me as a socially-conscious customer. I hope Hershey will help me take a stand against the abuse of children in the cocoa industry by making a commitment to buy Fair Trade cocoa.