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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chocolate and Child Slavery

Before you go out and stock up on Halloween candy, please read this. Do you have any idea that most of the chocolate that we buy in the United States comes to us via child slaves on cocoa farms on the Ivory Coast in Africa? Over 40% of the worlds farms are located in Cote D' Ivoire, where at least 12,000 children, some groups say up to 200,000, have been forced into slavery so we can enjoy our chocolate treats. Most of the children are under the age of 12 and work from 12-15 hours a day. They carry huge bags of cocoa beans that are often bigger than they are and weigh more. They are fed only bananas and are forced to sleep with 20 other children locked in a tiny room where they sleep on wooden planks and urinate in a can. The children are often beaten with cocoa tree branches. 

*I did NOT purchase this candy. It was collected by my kids at our community's Trunk or Treat

The following are companies that get their cocoa beans from countries that use child labor. This Halloween, please do your part. Take a stand and do not buy candy from these companies.

M&M Mars
Ben and Jerry's 

You can find Fair Trade chocolate at the following retailers:

Dunkin' Donuts
Fred MeyerWhole Foods
Wild Oats
Safeway (includes Tom Thumb)
StarbucksTrader Joe's

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