The majority of the world’s cocoa comes from the West African nations of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. But global demand for cheap cocoa is forcing the farmers in these nations to lower production costs, in order to avoid selling their produce at a loss…
The result has been the use of far too many child labourers, including many who have been trafficked.
It is currently estimated that the West African cocoa industry uses more than 1.5 million child labourers. On some cocoa farms in rural parts of Cote d’Ivoire, children as young as eight are trafficked to harvest cocoa beans in dangerous conditions. Instead of attending school, child labourers work 12-hour days on cocoa farms.
The good news is that there have been strong commitments across the board when it comes to strengthening systems to mitigate the risks of child labour in the cocoa supply chain. A number of brands have committed to ensuring farmers receive a living income for their cocoa, many are investing in strong child labour monitoring and remediation schemes, and others are tracing deeper into their supply chains to better understand where their cocoa is coming from.
We want to celebrate these commitments! But we also want to urge companies to follow through… to put all of the pieces together… to make real change in the lives of children and families in cocoa farming regions.
And we need your help to do it!
Will you join us and our friends at Be Slavery Free this Easter, as we call on the world’s six major chocolate companies to put their words into action and follow through on their commitments to end child labour in the cocoa supply chain?
The good news is progress is being made.
Australian campaigners have probably been the most successful in convincing chocolate companies to stamp out slavery in their supply chains.
Since 2008, Baptist World Aid Australia and Be Slavery Free have campaigned every major chocolate producer in the country. People like you have raised their voices and, as a result, Cadbury, Mars, Nestle, Ferrero, Lindt and Hershey have all agreed to work towards ensuring that their chocolate is traffik-free.
But we want to see all major Australian retailers working towards making the same commitment. And we want to see more done to ensure that farmers are being paid a living wage.
Join us as we thank stores that are stocking certified chocolates, and call on the world’s biggest chocolate producers and companies to pay cocoa farmers a living income.
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