Chocolate News

Regular readers may remember that I recently talked to 8th graders about human trafficking and modern day slavery. Being as it was an 8th grade (and in a Catholic School no less) I chose not to focus on sex trafficking. Instead, I focused on the equally prevalent problem of trafficking for forced labor. The example I used was chocolate.

I showed them the same video I put on the blog last month which does a great job of telling the story of child and slave labor in the harvesting of the cocoa that becomes the chocolate we enjoy. The kids then wrote letters to the three main American chocolate companies - Mars, Hersey and Nestle - asking them to live up to their agreement to stop using child and slave labor on their cocoa plantations in West Africa. (As the video tells you, they promised to do this in 2001, promised to have it sorted out by 2005, and have not yet met their deadline).

The letters were GREAT! The local Catholic paper even did a story about the kids.

Today I got an e-mail from Global Exchange with some great news ... Cadbury has agreed to start using fair trade (and hence slave free) cocoa in its Cadbury Dairy Milk bar in the UK! While most companies that have started using fair trade have done so in obscure boutique type bars, Cadbury is going to make their #1 chocolate bar with fair trade cocoa!

Of course, that's just in the UK. Your Cadbury egg that you have on easter will not be fair trade and may have been made using slave labor. Likewise your Cadbury Dairy milk that you buy in a country other than the UK.

Still, it's a great day for the anti-slavery movement! And for chocolate lovers. Why not visit the Global Exchange website and send a Thank You e-mail to the folks at Cadbury. While you're at it, ask them to introduce more fair trade products. It just takes a few minutes to send a message and it's really important that they hear from their consumers.

Together, we can make a difference and end human trafficking!

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