A Sweet Story from WA

Janeen Murphy doesn’t like making too big a deal of the efforts at her school to ensure only slavery-free chocolate is consumed. But she should!

“We try to make sure that there’s only slavery-free chocolate at the school for raffles and other events, but sometimes we don’t get it right. But we keep trying,” said Janeen, the Director of Faith and Mission at John XXIII College at Mount Claremont in WA.

Slavery-free chocolates appear at the college several times throughout the year and Janeen sees each event as an opportunity to educate staff, parents and students about the justice issues surrounding slavery.

A report published by Sydney’s Macquarie University in December stated more than two million children under the age of 15 work in the cocoa industry in Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Teachers and students at John XXIII College were no sooner back at school this year and preparations for the slavery-free chocolate raffle had begun.  ACRATH posters and other resources are used around the college to explain the importance of buying and eating slaver

y-free chocolate and the certification labels to look for. The raffle is also a Project Compassion initiative raising money for the work of CARITAS.

“Last year because of COVID we didn’t do much, but the year before our students went to a Woolworths supermarket and explained to the manager what they were doing, and to encourage them to stock more slavery-free chocolate. The store kindly donated UTZ chocolate for the raffle,” Janeen said.

In the lead up to Easter there’s a few Golden tickets hidden around the school and the lucky students who find the tickets, are rewarded with slavery-free chocolate. The college’s Open Day to be held on 6 March will also be an opportunity to tell people about the school’s slavery-free initiatives.

“We try to inform the parents about why we only want slavery-free chocolate in the school and each year we have new parents and students to reach,” Janeen said. “We are always trying, but we don’t always get it right. We have to keep up the awareness raising and hope that each year some of our students are committed to slavery-free chocolate and they then spread the word to others.”

To find slavery-free chocolate Easter resources go to: https://acrath.org.au/take-action/slavery-free-easter/

Caption: Students Olive and Chloe showcasing the Fair Trade Chocolate Raffle.