The meaning of Easter is (of course) the most important aspect of the holiday. However, many of us also love to give and receive Easter eggs.
But, through this tradition, did you know that we may be unintentionally aiding the opposite of love, generosity, and compassion . . . by consuming products made through acts of exploitation and abuse?
70% of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa, a region where child labour on cocoa farms is rife and children as young as eight are trafficked to work in dangerous conditions. Instead of attending school, child labourers work 12-hour days, harvesting the cocoa beans that go into our chocolate eggs.
So, what can you choose to do about it? This year, you can aim to enjoy a more ethical Easter with these three simple ideas!
1. Be Fair
In Isaiah 65, the prophet describes what God’s world will look like to the people of Israel; a people who were familiar with slavery and exploitation. He points out that in the new heaven and new earth no person will be enslaved, and each will enjoy the fruits of their labour:
“They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plan and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands.” (Isaiah 65:21-22)
Corinthians 8:13 also points to God’s world being one of fairness and equality. So, naturally, as followers of Christ seeking to see God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, we ought also to seek a world of fairness and equality.
Not all chocolate is tainted with child labour. In response to pressure from consumers and advocates like you, more and more chocolate companies are choosing to source their cocoa ethically, to mitigate the risk of child labour. So, you can enjoy a more ethical Easter simply by choosing to buy from these companies.
So, when you buy your chocolate eggs this year, just look for the following logos on the label and through your purchase, choose to be fair!
2. Be Vocal
Another way you can have a more ethical Easter this year is choosing to be vocal about injustice—like the injustice of cocoa farmers who are being woefully underpaid for the cocoa that goes into your chocolate.
Romans 4:4 says, “Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due”.
But farmers in West Africa are being paid so little for the cocoa they grow (well below what’s needed to provide for themselves and their families) that they simply can’t afford to hire adult labourers . . . and cheap labour equals child labour. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Call on the world’s largest chocolate companies to ensure that cocoa farmers receive a fair income . . . and thank Australian retailers for stocking Easter chocolates that are certified to mitigate the risks of child labour.
3. Be Generous
Finally, you can enjoy a more ethical Easter by being generous.
Corinthians 9:11 says that you “will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way”. And this year, as we celebrate our 60th Anniversary, it’s important to recognise that Baptist World Aid is blessed with incredibly generous supporters—thank you for being so steadfast.
At Easter time we celebrate the most generous gift the world has ever seen. The death of Christ on the cross for our sins. What better time to reflect God’s generosity to the world around us?
One way you might like to do this is by giving a Better World Gift. So, after you’re done choosing your ethically certified chocolate eggs, why not pair them with a chicken? Not only will you receive a gorgeous card to pass on to a friend or loved one, but your generous gift of $20 will also give families in Kenya and Nepal the opportunity to raise chickens and grow incomes.
Be generous today and choose a chicken!
So, enjoy Easter and your Easter eggs this year. But, in so doing:
- Be fair, buy ethically certified chocolate,
- Be vocal and call on companies to do more, and
- Be generous, gift a chicken this Easter!