How Sweet is My Chocolate?

The sweet, but sometimes-bitter truth about Easter Chocolate

Chocolate is delicious and people around the world know it. Every Easter Australians spend millions of dollars buying hundreds of kilograms of chocolate to eat and give away.

In 2022, the revenue from chocolate confectionery Down Under amounted to AU$5.13 billion. Australians spent an average of AU$196.96 per capita on chocolate products. (Australian Chocolate Consumption Statistics for 2022)

But some of this chocolate is tainted by slavery and comes at the cost of a child’s health, education and sometimes his or her freedom. Much of our chocolate is made using cocoa beans harvested by children, often in the West African region. Many of these children are forced into labour. We can help change this.

Ask the question – how sweet is my chocolate?

Cocoa is a key ingredient of chocolate.

Much of the chocolate sold in Australia is made using cocoa beans picked by children, many of whom have been enslaved, or forced to work in exploitative conditions. The International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) estimates that there are more than 1.5 million children working in the cocoa sector in West Africa, where about 70% of the world’s cocoa is produced.

How to Join ACRATH's Easter Campaign and feel good about the chocolate you purchase and consume this Easter.


Download the How to Be a Good Egg poster -UPLOAD YOUR FREE POSTER HERE.  (note - right click on the image to save on your computer, the print) . Request the poster to be sent to you by emailing Post it at your school, community noticeboard, office, parish or at home and spread ACRATH's message.EASTER POSTER

SEEK OUT the Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance logos on your chocolate wrapper.

Note these certification seals mean the certified ingredient was produced using methods that support social, economic, and environmental sustainability.


Join the one billion people who read the Be Slavery Free Chocolate Scorecard ( last year to discover their chocolate's true origins and evaluate their favourite brands' ethical practices.

Be an influencer and share your chocolate (online) by taking a selfie/or photo with your Easter chocolate (after checking its rating on the scorecard) then uploading the photo to your favourite social media platform.


Join Us:  Share your message, and don't forget to tag us or email us at to be featured in our campaign on our social media. We will be publishing photos from schools, individuals and workplaces.

The Chocolate Scorecard

A better chocolate is better for people and the planet! It’s free of child labor, provides a living income for cocoa farmers, empowers women, and cares for the evironment. Be Slavery Free has surveyed the world’s chocolate companies to find out what’s really going into the chocolate you buy. The 5th edition of the Choclate Scorecard is now available.

Consumer awareness and demand for ‘better’ chocolate is driving positive change in the industry. Initiatives like the Chocolate Scorecard play a crucial role in fostering transparency and accountability. Continued collaboration and engagement across stakeholders will be vital in driving progress towards a more sustainable and ethical chocolate industry.

Key insights of the 5th edition of the Chocolate Scorecard include the following:

  • 100% of companies have a policy for monitoring, reducing, or eliminating child labor but only an average of around 55% of the supply chain are being covered by a program!
  • 68% of respondents have evidence that the programs or schemes are reducing the prevalence of child labor situations – but verification is often lacking
  • Reported cases of worst forms of child labor are now at 26% of estimated children in hazardous (worst forms) labor by the US Department of Labor NORC Report
  • 18% of respondent companies found and successfully remediated cases of forced labor and human trafficking in the past 12 months – great increase in transparency and action
  • 70% of respondent companies have a policy to monitor, reduce or eliminate the exposure of children to pesticides in their supply chains 70% of respondent companies have a policy or action plan take gender into account.
  • Traceability has increased but still about 50% of supply chain is indirect (not traced).
  • 52 of the 63 companies that responded state that a living income is a basic human right. This is 83% of all companies surveyed.
  • For big companies this was 76%, for small companies it was 89% and for retailers it was 94%.
  • 6 companies are paying 100% of their farmers a Living Income Reference Price.

Find out how your favourite chocolate rates on the 5th Edition Chocolate Scorecard here. Scorecards for Companies and Retailers can be found here.

Use the latest Chocolate Scorecard to help you join ACRATH’s Indulge Responsibly Easter Chocolate campaign.

What Has Been Achieved

In the past decade a great deal has changed on our supermarket shelves. Some big successes are:

  • All Mars bars made in Australia are Rainforest Alliance certified
  • All Nestle chocolate made in Australia and New Zealand is now Rainforest Alliance certified.
  • Haighs source much of their cocoa from Rainforest Alliance certified farms. Their Easter range is 100% certified.

For more information about slavery-free chocolate landmarks, the cocoa certification program, the need for a living wage for cocoa farmers and the treatment of children in chocolate production, read the A Matter of Taste report.

Chocolate and Child Labour – A Snapshot

  • A 2020 Macquarie University report, Not so sweet: chocolate, slavery and complicit corporationsfound that, “More than two million children under the age of 15 years old work in the cocoa industry in Ivory Coast and Ghana. Many are the children of farm labourers, but others are also sold to farms as bonded labourers from neighbouring Burkina Faso and Mali”
  • A 2021 report by the International Labor Organisation (ILO) found that 152 million children (64 million girls and 88 million boys) are involved in child labour – that’s almost one in 10 of all children worldwide
  • Almost half of child labour happens in Africa (72 million children)
  • Many of the children harvesting cocoa beans work in hazardous conditions. The 2020 NORC report states that among children living in agricultural households in cocoa growing areas 45 percent were engaged in child labor and 43 percent were engaged in hazardous child labor in cocoa production and 12% of children had to receive treatment in a hospital or health centre.
  • COVID-19 has made children even more vulnerable. School closures have aggravated the situation and many millions of children are working to contribute to the family income.

Further Information and Resources

For the Classroom

  • An activity for individuals or in small groups. As a school, consider incorporating human trafficking into your curriculum using ACRATH’s education resources at
  • Follow the lead of John XXIII College at Mount Claremont in WA. They used every opportunity to spread the word about slavery in the cocoa industry. Prior to Easter they held a chocolate raffle which is promoted via posters around the college, newsletter notices and information offered at the college’s open day. Read their story here.
  • ACRATH has developed notices for your parish, school or workplace bulletin. Find them here.
  • Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools and ACRATH produced a kit to help you make your school, hospital or workplace work towards becoming slavery-free. It has lots of valuable information about chocolate and also tea and coffee. Find it at:



Watch ACRATH’s Conversation looking at the issue of slavery in the cocoa industry and
how we can move towards a slavery-free Easter featuring Be Slavery Free Co-Directors Carolyn and Fuzz Kitto and Peter Millard, Supply chain Manager Haigh’s Chocolates, who shared their passion for a world free of slavery, and what we can do.




Read the inspiring article from WA and how ACRATH Coordinator Heather McNaught assisted in implementing a campaign in IGA stores across WA. All stores received the posters/flyers to put up near the ethical stock that was ordered.


Thank you for all you are doing to eliminate slavery in chocolate production. For more information contact

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