Slavery in the Chocolate Industry: Plight of Children Used for Cocoa Farming Essay

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Pages: 5

Close to half of the worlds chocolate is made from the highly prized top-quality cocoa beans that are grown on farms in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, a small nation on the western side of Africa. The farmers of these poor nations are notorious, however, for sometimes relying on slaves to harvest their beans, The slaves are boys between 12 and 16 sometimes as young as 9 ~ who are kidnapped from villages in surrounding nations and sold to the cocoa farmers, who use whippings, beatings, and starvation to force the boys to do the hot, difficult work of clearing the fields, harvesting the beans, and drying them in the sun. The boys work from sunrise to sunset and are locked in at night in windowless rooms where they sleep on bare wooden …show more content…
(maker of M&Ms, Mars, Twix, Dove, and Milky Ways),
Nestle USA, (MAKER OF Nestle Crunch, Kit Kat, Baby Ruth, and Butterfingers), and Kraft Foods (which uses chocolate in its baking and breakfast products). Less well known, but a key part of the industry, are the names of Archer Daniels Midland
Co., Barry Callebaut, and Cargill inc., all of whom serve as middlemen who grind and process cocoa beans they acquire from the lvory Coast and sell the product to manufacturers. That many farmers in the Ivory Coast use slave boys to farm their cocoa beans was already known to American chocolate makers when media reports first publicized the issue. In 2001, the chocolate Manufacturers Association, a trade group of American chocolate manufacturers (whose members include Hershey, Mars, Nestle, and others), admitted to newspapers that they were aware of the use of slave boys on Ivory Coast cocoa farms. Pressured by various antislavery groups, the chocolate Manufacturers
Association stated on June 22 that it “condemned” “these practices” and agreed to fund a “study” of the situation. in the spotlight of continuing media attention, the
Chocolate Manufacturers Association, on September l9,200l, signed a plan entitled
“Protocol for the growing and processing of Cocoa Beans and Their Derivative
Products in Manner that Complies with ILO Convention 182 Concerning the
Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of