CNN busts open child slavery and chocolate growers with “The bitter truth about the chocolate bunnies.” 200,000 children are enslaved to work the cocoa trees, which provide 70% of the world’s beans.
I’m writing several chocolate and climate change pieces, which I hope to post in about a week. It’s crazy what’s happening in 2012. I’m not into solving problems by buying things. And I’m an utter cynic when it comes to the manic buffoonery called “recycling.”
But, with chocolate, I cannot think of a better reason to choose an organic product.
“Chocolate is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but for the children working in slavery conditions in cacao fields across West Africa’s Ivory Coast, the reality behind it is anything but sweet.
Some 70 to 75 percent of the world’s cocoa beans are grown on small farms in West Africa, including the Ivory Coast, according to the World Cocoa Foundation and the International Cocoa Initiative. The CNN Freedom Project reports that in the Ivory Coast alone, there are an estimated 200,000 children working the fields, many against their will, to satisfy the world’s hunger for chocolate.
The average American eats around 11 pounds of chocolate each year, and the weeks leading up to Easter show the second biggest United States sales spike of the year next to Halloween - 71 million pounds according to a 2009 Neilsen report. A recent press release from Kraft claims that worldwide, more consumers purchase chocolate during Easter than any other season.
So how does a chocolate lover ensure that the treats filling their family’s Easter baskets are not supporting a life of slavery for a child half a world away?
Opt for organic
Gene Tanski, a supply chain expert and CEO of Demand Foresight says that the most basic way to ensure that you don’t purchase chocolate that is made with slave labor is to insist on organic”
Read the rest at CNN’s Freedom Project, which aims to end child slavery.