This weekend, England will sink it’s teeth into 80 million chocolate eggs, but the reality behind the chocolate industry that many of us don’t know about is bittersweet. Human trafficking and child labour is a massive issue within the cocoa industry in Africa, where the majority of the world’s cocoa comes from. If the chocolate you’re buying isn’t certified, then there’s a big chance the beans were picked and harvested by a child who was either kidnapped or sold into forced labour.
Around 2 million children, some as young as 5, are working in cocoa production in Africa. Instead of going to school, they’re forced to work on the plantations, handling harmful pesticides without protection and using dangerous tools like machetes - without receiving so much as a penny for their hard work. Many of the big confectionery brands found across supermarkets in the UK have been linked to this issue, but the good news is we can stop fuelling the demand and stop exacerbating these abuses of human rights by choosing certified products instead.
Look out for one of the following labels when you're shopping for your eggs this weekend or next time you're in the need for something sweet - I guarantee it'll taste much, much better knowing it comes from an ethical source! -
Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, the UTZ Certified mark, or The Cocoa Plan.
For brand suggestions, head to http://www.slavefreechocolate.org/ethical-chocolate-companies/.
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