What are you passing out for the trick or treaters this year?
What are you telling children is okay to accept in the world?
On a night where little children play dress up and make believe, pretending that frights and horrors are real... there is something truly scary being handed out door to door.
"Young children. Children who should be attending school and having a childhood. And they are working for most of the mainstream chocolate providers in the USA. A report from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture about cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast estimated there were 284,000 children working on cocoa farms in hazardous conditions. Some of them have been taken from their families, or sold as servants. U.S. chocolate manufacturers have claimed they are not responsible for the conditions on cocoa plantations since they don't own them. This includes Hershey, Mars, Nestle, and the US division of Cadbury . . . who collectively represent pretty much every snack-size candy bar that will be available in stores this Halloween." 1
Carrying Coco pods.
Using machetes in a field instead of pencils in s classroom.
A days worth of work, not to mention beatings or sexual abuse that is often reported on coco plantations.
This is the actual cost of chocolates and many candies as there are similar report of slavery used in harvesting sugar cane.
If you would like to watch the full documentary of The Draker Side of Chocolate it is below
Green America gave a list of ways
YOU can make a difference in this outrage:
- Use the new "Get Child Labor Out of Your Chocolates Scorecard" athttp://www.greenamericatoday.org/pdf/2010ChocolateScorecard.PDF to shop online. Among the "A" ranked alternatives to Hershey chocolate are Alter Eco, Coco-Zen, Divine, Equal Exchange, Shama, Sjaak's, Sweet Earth Organic and Theo Chocolate, all of which are Fair Trade. All of Hershey's competitors have some form of labor certification for their chocolate, leaving Hershey as the only company on the list without one. Confused by what all of those certification symbols mean? The Scorecard includes a short overview of the most widely used labels and explains what they mean.
- Shop for Fair Trade chocolate locally. You can find dozens of locations around the U.S. athttp://www.greenamericatoday.org/programs/fairtrade/products/wheretobuy.cfm#chocolate.
- Fair Trade Your Halloween. You can hand out bite-sized Fair Trade chocolates and let parents of Trick-or-Treaters know why Fair Trade matters. In addition, thousands of families across the U.S. are taking part in local "reverse trick-or-treating" to educate other families about the abuse of children in the cocoa production.
- Help raise awareness by holding a screening in your home of "The Dark Side of Chocolate." Filmmakers Miki Mistrati and U. Robin Romano traveled to cocoa farms in Cote d'Ivoire and what they found was dark. Few improvements have been made on the ground and egregious labor rights abuses continue, years after major chocolate companies committed to ending this exploitation. Get more information about how to get involved athttp://www.greenamericatoday.org/programs/fairtrade/MovieScreening.cfm.
- Take Green America's new action targeting Hershey. Don't just avoid Hershey chocolates; let this company know what you think. Go to http://www.greenamerica.org/takeaction/hershey/ to send your message to a Hershey's executive now.
- Take action on Facebook. You can start by "liking" Green America's latest posts athttp://www.facebook.com/Greenamerica about Hershey, so your friends can see them. You can also go to Hershey's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/HERSHEYS and leave your own comments for them and their customers to see. Every few days, Hershey posts a new question designed to keep up the chatter on their page, constantly exposing their brand to more eyeballs. That's where you can add your comments about expecting Hershey to be more responsible.
- Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. You'll find all the background information that you need for your letter to the editor by downloading the "Time to Raise the Bar" report here. http://www.greenamerica.org/programs/fairtrade/whatyoucando/2010Hershey.cfm.
For more information of Green America please visit
What are you going to do? Today? Halloween? Everyday?
Will you make a difference?
Because together... we can.
Look for fair trade symbols on your groceries. Coffee, sugar, rice and especially your chocolate.