Were They Produced by Cocoa Plantation Slaves
in West Africa?
is the essential ingredient for making chocolate Easter
eggs. A significant proportion of the world
production of cocoa is grown and harvested on
plantations by African slaves.
slaves are on cocoa plantations in remote rural areas in
West Africa. Some of the chocolate Easter eggs
which we buy is made using slave cocoa. The slaves
are beaten by the overseer. They are not fed
properly. They work long hours. They are
locked up in a slave barracks at night. They are
beaten and often killed if they try to escape.
problem for consumers is to know the difference between
slave cocoa and free cocoa. Obviously, no
manufacturer labels its product as "Cocoa Grown
With Slave Labor".
a result of a mission by one of the Society's agents to
West Africa, the Society is compiling a list of slave
a rule of thumb, the cocoa purchased by the more
expensive chocolate manufacturers tends to be free
cocoa. However, there is an exception. If
the manufacturer experiences an unexpected surge in
consumer demand and purchases cocoa on the spot market,
there is a significant risk that a proportion of the
purchase might have come from plantations in West Africa
which grow and harvest cocoa using slaves.
as a general rule of thumb, there is a risk that the
cheaper chocolates (which are often "No Label"
brands and the like) have been manufactured using cocoa
purchased on the spot market, a proportion of which may
be slave cocoa.
the civil war in Côte d'Ivoire (the largest exporter of
cocoa with plantations were slaves work), exports from
that country have decreased and cocoa prices have
increased, so that there has been a decline in the use
of slaves on the plantations.
The material in this report is based on a Mission to
West Africa by the Society's Secretary-General.
Continued exploitation of children in cocoa
BBC World Service
April 03, 2007
to other pages dealing with this issue:
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to other pages dealing with slavery in West Africa:
African slave trade
slavery in West Africa
to pages dealing with consumer awareness:
made by child labor
made by child labor
to other pages dealing with slavery:
slavery still exist?
slavery in South Asia
servitude in South Asia
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