Nearly 20 years have passed since the world’s largest chocolate companies, including Mars, Hershey, and Nestle, promised to reduce or eliminate child labor from their cocoa supply chains.
However, today, there are over two million children working in the cocoa industry in West Africa, where about two-thirds of the world’s cocoa is grown. Chocolate companies still struggle to trace their supply chains back to the individual farms where cocoa comes from, despite spending large amounts of money to try to improve living conditions, access to education, and farming techniques in the area.
That lack of visibility is what makes it difficult for them to verify that the cocoa they purchase has not been grown or harvested with child labor.
- The Harsh Realities of Child Laborers in the Cocoa Industry
- Tackling child labour on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast
This post is based on the Washington Post article, Cocoa’s child laborers, by Peter Whoriskey and Rachel Siegel, June 5, 2019; and the YouTube videos, The Harsh Realities of Child Laborers in the Cocoa Industry, by Annenberg Media, November 4, 2016, and Tackling child labour on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast, by SABC Digital News, Continue reading