When people think dessert, when they think decadent; they think of chocolate. The chocolate industry is worth more than 60 billion worldwide. To maintain the highest possible profit, the very big chocolate manufacturers have chosen large-scale production. The shortcuts taken in the chocolate industry cannot be allowed to continue. Horrific conditions and systemic method of oppression have stolen a great future from generations of children.
The Chocolate industry is rife with child trafficking, human rights abuses, and pollution. The current prices of a chocolate bar are only possible because of a grossly inhuman system of abuse that's utilized to produce chocolate. Your chocolate bar may only be a dollar, but how many people paid the ultimate price for your commodity?
The horror is that 70% ($60 billion) of chocolate is produced through child slavery. Children as young as 8 are working in gruelling conditions and are not allowed to leave...ever. You have children of your own or you know sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews, or children of friends of yours. You would not allow them to be slaves if you could possibly help it. You wouldn’t let any child become a slave.
The first step is becoming informed, the next step is spreading awareness, and then making change. Do research and look for ethically responsible chocolate in your area, do what you can to support companies that have made a change in the chocolate industry.
Many major chocolate companies have refused to acknowledge the epidemic that is child labor within the industry. Nestle has made some progress in supporting and promoting charities that seek to end the abuse within the chocolate system, but Nestle still utilizes Cocoa acquired from unknown sources. In the free market of Cocoa if the price of the raw product is cheap, it likely means someone was exploited for those cheap prices.
There is nothing decadent about a multi billion dollar industry that systematically rewards and promotes the horrific abuse of human rights. The chocolate industry represents too high of a GDP percentage for many Cacao producing countries for the government to make large sweeping changes.
Unfortunately change will start slowly and with the consumer. YOU can help by voting with your money and refuse to support chocolate that doesn't have the Fair Trade Certified logo.