Chocolate is the type of food that the majority of people can’t have enough of it (Including us). It has said to be present as an edible item on earth since the 1900BC, but back then it was mostly used in drinks.
Chocolate comes in various forms and shapes and is packed with multi-nutrients including calcium and vitamins. And not one dinner or party is complete without heavenly mouthwatering chocolate desserts on the menu! However, you might just change the way you see it once you know the true horrid cost behind a single bar.
Recently, a co-led study by a variety of human rights and environmental organizations including Oxfam, International Labor Rights Forum and Stop the Traffik revealed dark secrets about the cocoa industry. The results are mind-bending and they might make you hate chocolate and that is exactly why you should read further.
The yummy chocolate bar that you love to buy every time you pick up your son from school, or while grocery shopping comes at a huge cost. Cocoa which is the plant synthesized in order to obtain chocolate grows in Africa and it is where the actual action behind chocolate takes place.
It is where African natives work endlessly in severe weather day and night under minimum wages. They are bound by contracts and have to work at the cocoa farms where they are overworked and expected to take merely a 20% of what they truly deserve.
The chocolate industry based in Africa dates back to the early 1900’s and this shows how long the horrific plot has been at play. This is exactly why you should know the true cost of your single chocolate bar that comes at the expense of a poor hungry farmer. There were questions raised as to why do people continue to work in this cocoa farms.
Cadbury Company Scandal
A famous English photographer Henry Nevinson documented the plight of plantation slaves in a series of photographs he did for Harper’s monthly magazine. His experience and photos shocked the entire world back in 1906. He documented the bizarre truth where he saw lines of people clearing a cocoa plantation.
These African people had their children clung to them and at the ends of the lines were the individuals in charge. The individuals were white while some were part white and each of them held a long wooden stick with sharpened pointy ends. Nevinson’s work resulted in a huge uproar in Britain where people demanded an investigation of the working conditions in these cocoa plantations. Due to this, an investigation was taken place in the business practices of Cadbury.
Another problem that arose after the people working in these plantations were given rights. The darker and modern problem chocolate industry faces is how many children that work on these farms are trafficked. In 2001 a ship carrying several hundred children from Benin was reported missing off of the coast when it was refused entry to Cameroon and Gabon. This created yet another uproar especially for the UN and Human Rights Association too late the missing children. Who wasn’t found and are speculated to be kept as workers in these cocoa plantations?
Child Labor Law Violations & Child Abuse
Child Labor laws are pretty strict when it comes to making them but sadly not everyone follows them. According to these laws, underage children should not be allowed to work but should focus on education. While teenagers can work part-time for a minimum of 3 hours on school days. But these children don’t even go to schools or colleges and spend their lifetime on these plantations.
Sadly, if you will ever come across people from third world countries they will testify to the fact of how poor children are always seen working or begging. The cocoa plantations are majorly in Africa and they have children working in the farms for a few dollars. They work day and night and don’t even get paid hourly, sadly a single regular sized chocolate bar costs more than their monthly wages.
In the end, we will conclude with a heavy heart and hope that UN as well as other associations and come together and end the slavery as well as child labor once and for all. Though it will also require our efforts and might even take alot of years to actually end the painful cycle of slavery.