While many Americans happily and generously purchase and consume copious amounts of chocolate for special holidays such as Halloween and Valentines Day, very few realize that the chocolate they are eating is likely made by enslaved children. Few Americans had heard of this problem before reporters Sudarsan Raghavan and Sumana Chatterjee exposed the scandalous conditions under which most U.S. chocolate is made, in the summer of 2001.
Hershey’s, Nestle, and other large chocolate companies are well aware of this, and have constructed voluntary deadlines to certify that no producers in their supply chains use child labor. However, Two of those deadlines have come and gone with no positive changes or meaningful action. There is a new deadline set for the end of this year, yet activist groups are not counting on any extraordinary results.
In late September 2010, a research team from Tulane University (specifically charged by Congress with oversight of the voluntary supply-chain efforts) reported that “the industry is still far from achieving its target…by the end of 2010…and the majority of children exposed to the worst forms of child labor remain unreached.”
The biggest cocoa company in the country, Hershey’s — even after nine years to get started — has no certification system in place whatsoever to ensure that its cocoa isn’t tainted by labor rights abuses.
Title: The Chocolate You Eat Is Likely Made by Enslaved Children
Publication: AlterNet, October 18, 2010
Author: Andrew Korfhage; Other Words
Faculty Evaluator: Michael Ezra- AMCS Professor, Sonoma State University
Student Researcher: Kayla Peirano, Sonoma state University