Stop Child Labor in the Cocoa Industry

Stop Child Labor in the Cocoa Industry

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maddie adams-miller started this petition to Chocolate Lovers Everywhere and

The best feeling in the world is biting into a Hershey's milk chocolate bar or munching on some M & M's. The sweet taste of chocolate is known as one of the most satisfying foods. When we consume chocolate our brain releases a chemical known as serotonin. Serotonin is known as an anti depressant and is released by a chemical found in chocolate. Chocolate is mostly produced in West Africa under harsh conditions. 

The cocoa industry is booming in West Africa. Companies such as Hershey's, Mars, and Nestle all use cocoa from this region. The chocolate produced from this region uses child labor. 

Child labor in the industry is not uncommon. There are 2 million child laborers in the West African cocoa industry. A majority of these children live on their parent's farms being forced to do the worst forms of labor. This includes swinging machetes, carrying heavy loads, and spraying pesticides. A smaller chunk of the 2 million children are trafficked from other countries and are in dire situations. The Ivory Coast signed an agreement that allows them to send back children they believe are vulnerable to human trafficking and send back children who travel unaccompanied to work on cocoa farms. The International Cocoa Initiative is an organization working to eliminate child labor in the industry. Big name companies promised that by 2005 they would eradicate child labor yet failed to fulfill this promise. The use of child labor in the cocoa industry is to common to single out one farmer or one plantation.

So how can you help? Next time when you are going to buy some chocolate go for brands such as Black Mountain Chocolate or Ombar. By signing this petition I'm asking you to think twice before eating a Crunch bar or a Reese's Peanut Butter cup and try to veer away from chocolate brands that use child labor. 

For more information on ethical chocolate brands click on the link below.

http://www.slavefreechocolate.org/ethical-chocolate-companies

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