“They enjoy something I suffered to make; I worked hard for them but saw no benefit. They are eating my flesh.”
Do you support slavery? Or even worse, child slavery? Millions of Americans DO support child slavery without even knowing it! Here’s a simple guide to help avoid buying Halloween treats produced by child slavery.
Americans spend over a billion dollars every Halloween on chocolate, accounting for 10% of most chocolate company’s annual revenue. And the average American citizen eats over 11 pounds of chocolate a year. So this Halloween, use your money to let them know that child slavery will not be tolerated by American consumers, reports Nathan Wellman of U.S. Uncut.
Last September, a lawsuit was filed against eight major companies – including Hershey, Mars, and Nestle – alleging that the companies were duping consumers into “unwittingly” funding the child slave labor trade in West Africa, home to two-thirds of the world’s cacao beans.
Worker ages range from 11-16, sometimes even younger. They are trapped on isolated farms, where they work 80 to 100 hours a week, sometimes after being kidnapped or deceived into going. The film Slavery: A Global Investigation spoke with freed children who reported that they were often beaten with fists, belts, and whips.
“The beatings were a part of my life,” Aly Diabate, a freed slave, told reporters. “Anytime they loaded you with bags (of cocoa beans) and you fell while carrying them, nobody helped you. Instead they beat you and beat you until you picked it up again.”
Here are seven chocolate companies that benefit from child slave labor, AVOID these if you DO NOT want to support child slavery:
The big players in the chocolate industry are not allowing the FDA to require labeling on the packages which would indicate whether or not the chocolate is slave-free.
Legislation nearly passed in 2001 in which the FDA would implement “slave free” labeling on the packaging. Before the legislation made it to a vote, the chocolate industry – including Nestle, Hershey, and Mars – used its corporate money to stop it by “promising” to self-regulate and end child slavery in their businesses by 2005. This deadline has repeatedly been pushed back, with the current goal now at 2020, according to Wellman
To show that the big companies have no regard for children or slavery, they have done nothing to change things for the positive.
The number of children working in the cocoa industry has actually increased by 51 percent from 2009 to 2014, while the big players were supposed to be working towards self-regulation.
As one freed boy put it: “They enjoy something I suffered to make; I worked hard for them but saw no benefit. They are eating my flesh.”
Here is a list of more socially conscious companies who have made a point to avoid profiting off the suffering of child labor:
Green and Black’s
L.A. Burdick Chocolates
Denman Island Chocolate
Newman’s Own Organics
Kailua Candy Company
Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company
Rapunzel Pure Organics
The Endangered Species Chocolate Company
I hope everyone has a happy Halloween, especially the child slaves. Please don’t choose to support the companies that use child slavery to harvest their chocolate so that they can see bigger profits. If you truly DO NOT support slavery, then DO NOT support slavery. There are a lot of fair trade options. If your local grocery store does not carry any, you can ask them to get some, or use amazon. The big companies only care about profits, if there is no market for slavery driven chocolate, then they will stop using slavery. Together, we can end slavery.