IS THERE SLAVERY IN YOUR CHOCOLATE? HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO FIGURE OUT WHICH ARE ETHICAL AND SLAVE FREE COMPANIES MAKING CHOCOLATE
I've been writing about the chocolate industry since 2008. With the holidays here, it's very timely to shine a spotlight on this issue and help you purchase chocolate that is not made by child slaves.
As consumers demand more ethical products, some companies rise to the challenge, while others try to associate themselves with "fair practices" and "free trade" but not all are being truthful. Big corporations sometimes choose a path that aligns them with a marketing plan that is all talk and no walk. It's very challenging for consumers to know what they can buy that is truly slave free and traded fairly.
Stop Chocolate Slavery is a watchdog of sorts and does a good job trying to get consumers honest information with no hidden agenda. The advice they offer is this: If you want some chocolate, but don't want to exploit people, Fair Trade chocolate is probably your best bet. "Fair trade" was a term coined fairly recently, apparently in contradiction to so-called free trade.
STOP CHOCOLATE SLAVERY ADVISES:
"In the Fair Trade system, purchasers of products like coffee and cocoa beans, bananas, and sugar typically agree to pay an above market price for the products. The extra money is intended to help the small farms and co-operatives selling the products to make lasting improvements in their communities, by going towards schools, hospitals, and other improvements in infrastructure. The purchasers of the products, meanwhile, who are typically companies intending to import and sell the products yet again in another country, can then label the products as "Fair Trade certified", which lets the end consumer know that he or she isn't colluding in exploitation against some poor third world farmer. And thus, in theory, everyone is happy.
It sounds good to me, and, as I write, I've yet to hear any claims that the Fair Trade system is somehow corrupt, or phony, or any other adjective that might mitigate its goodness. Of course, the higher price paid to the Fair Trade farmer is usually passed on to the end consumer, but it seems a small price to pay, indeed, to know that you aren't colluding in the exploitation of poverty.
The markets for Fair Trade products, including chocolate, are small but growing rapidly, and I think we should all do what we can to support them."
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