Avoid These 7 Companies And Help Bring An End To Child Labor

Kids younger than 15-- some as young as 5-- work from 6 am till the late evening in West Africa at cocoa farms linked to Nestlé, Hershey, Mars, Kraft, ADM Cocoa, Godiva, and Fowler's Chocolate to produce your much loved chocolates that include Reese's, Package Kat, M&M's, MilkyWay and Butterfinger.

In September 2015, three class action claims raised by California accused Nestlé, Hershey, and Mars of turning a blind eye to human rights abuses by cocoa providers in West Africa while wrongly portraying themselves as socially and ethically accountable. Nestlé, Cargill and ADM are presently facing a separate suit brought by three Malian previous child slaves in 2005 that accuses the business of helping and abetting child slavery in Côte d'Ivoire's cocoa market.

The shocking 2000 documentary titled Slavery: A Global Investigation exposes the chocolate market's deep, dark connection to cocoa gathered by child servants. The guardian of 19 children freed from slavery by the Ivorian authorities informed the makers how they worked from dawn until sunset each day, locked in a shed in the evening where they were provided a tin cup where to urinate, stripped naked, tied up and routinely beaten. And how countless kids were being bought from their parents come from nations such as Mali, Burkina Faso, and Togo for a pittance, or in some cases outright taken, and after that delivered to Ivory Coast, where they are forced into slavery on cocoa farms.

To help you prevent supporting slavery, here are the 7 popular chocolate brand names that make use of child slaves and take advantage of child labor ...


Although, Nestlé's standard procedure prohibits using child labor in its supply chain, researchers from the Fair Labor Association discovered evidence of slave labor and children working for 14 hours in hazardous conditions doing dangerous tasks like utilizing machetes and carrying heavy loads. A Nestlé representative informed The Guardian:

"To date we have identified 3,933 children working on their family farms (around 10% of the children surveyed) who were involved in hazardous tasks classified as child labor. We have included half of them in our Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System, which includes providing school kits, obtaining birth certificates and developing income generating activities for the families of 312 identified children. Unfortunately, the scale and complexity of the issue is such that no company sourcing cocoa from Ivory Coast can guarantee that it has completely removed the risk of child labor from its supply chain."

Nestlé posted CHF 91.6 billion in 2014 chocolate sales.


The biggest chocolate maker in the United States buys the main component in its products from Ivory Coast notorious for worst kinds of slave labor, human trafficking, child labor, and child slavery. In 2012, a Louisiana pension fund raised concerns about Hershey executives' knowledge of just how much of the company's cocoa, grown in West Africa, might have been produced by child servants. Acknowledging the violent practices, Hershey's head of corporate communication Jeff Beckman told Confectionerynews.com:

“The allegations in the lawsuit are not new and reflect long-term challenges in cocoa-growing countries that many stakeholders, including NGOs, companies in the cocoa supply chain and the US Government have been working diligently together to address for a number of years.”

Hershey published $847 million in earnings in 2014.

In 2009, Mars dedicated to sourcing only certified cocoa by 2020. Nevertheless, when Examiner asked Mars why it should take till 2020 to certify their chocolate child slave complimentary, the business said that “a very small number of children are trafficked or forced to work on cocoa farms”, that “reaching every one of the millions of cocoa farmers in West Africa is a difficult task”", which is how they justify thinking “ten years is a realistic time frame” to guarantee sustainability.

The Harkin-Engel Protocol, a cocoa industry-wide arrangement was checked in 2001 to self-regulate and end child slavery in chocolate by 2005. That deadline was extended to 2008, and again to 2010. It's 2016 and we still have chocolate makers pledging to end child labor while generating millions of dollars in profits off the back of this abusive practice.

Meanwhile, a 2015 report found the number of children actively working in the cocoa industry had actually grown by 51% from 2009 to 2014-- totally an approximate figure of 1.4 million. Those living in slave-like conditions grew 10% from 2009-- now totalling approximately 1.1 million.

ADM, Kraft, Godiva, And Fowler's Chocolate

In 2005, 3 Malian nationals who were required to working on cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast filed a class-action suit in a federal court in California asserting that ADM, Cargill (in 2015 Cargill acquired ADM's worldwide chocolate business for an enterprise value of $440 million) and Nestlé-- through buying cocoa gathered by kid workers-- "aided and abetted" slavery, child labor, and abuse.

As the decade-old claim against ADM continues, among the world's largest processors of cocoa alcohol, powder and butter took over operations of its cocoa company for $1.3 billion in August 2015 to Olam International Ltd, a Singapore-based agribusiness business.

In 2012, Cadbury and Kraft Foods owner Mondelez International pledged $400 million to enhance the lives of cocoa farmers and produce a sustainable cocoa economy. However the efforts by the business, which has actually had a hard time for years to take forced labor from its supply chain, have actually been ineffective up until recently.

More than 60% of the world's cocoa, including Godiva's, is sourced from West Africa. Unlike other significant chocolate makers, Godiva has not made a dedication to trace its cocoa supply chain and work with locals to ensure it has not been collected by child labor. Though it announced its committed to sustainable sourcing of 100% of its cocoa supply by 2020, it is uncertain exactly what concrete actions the business is taking to guarantee reasonable payments, safe working conditions, and abolishing child labor.

While Fowler's Chocolate condemns child slavery, it continues to utilize Ivory Coast cocoa and cannot guarantee customers that their chocolate products are slavery-free.

A 2010 BBC examination into the supply chain that provides much of the chocolate offered in the UK, not simply discovered evidence of human trafficking and child slave labour, it likewise found that there is no warranty, regardless of safeguards, even with chocolate marketed as Fair trade, that child labour has actually not been involved in the supply chain.

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