Presently children as young as 12 years old are picking cocoa in West Africa to make the chocolate we eat. Some of these children are trafficked. Most are forced to pick cocoa from an early age for minimal or no wages, for long hours, in dangerous working conditions, without any possibility of attending school. Most of these children have never tasted chocolate.
In the past decade a great deal has changed on our supermarket shelves. Some big successes are:
- Cadbury dairy milk chocolate bars made in Australia have been certified Fairtrade.
- All Mars bars made in Australia are now certified RAINFOREST ALLIANCE
- All Nestle chocolate made in Australia and New Zealand is now UTZ certified.
- Haighs source 70% of their cocoa from UTZ certified farms. Their Easter range is 100% certified.
- ALDI stocked a wide range of UTZ certified Easter chocolate in 2016.
For more information about slavery-free chocolate landmarks, the slavery-free certification program, the need for a living wage for cocoa farmers and the treatment of children in chocolate production, read the report on our ACRATH website: A Matter of Taste.
What You Can Do?
- Buy and eat only slavery-free chocolate. To buy slavery-free Easter chocolate look for any of these certification labels on the wrappers: FAIRTRADE, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ.
- Talk about slavery-free chocolate – tell five friends or family members about slavery-free chocolate
- Use the Parish and School Bulletin notices to invite others in your community to join the Slavery-free Easter campaign.
- Pick your favourite chocolate Easter Egg. Find out if it is slavery-free chocolate.
- If it is not slavery free chocolate, then write to the manufacturer i.e. Lindt, Cadbury etc and ask them when they plan to make the product using cocoa certified to be slavery free.
- If your favourite chocolate is slavery-free write to the manufacturer and congratulate them on what they are doing towards the reduction of child slavery in West Africa.
- Visit your local supermarket or café (if they stock chocolate) and ask them to commit to doubling the amount of slavery-free chocolate they stock next Easter. Order for Easter 2018 will be placed soon.
- As a school consider incorporating human trafficking into your curriculum using ACRATH’s education resources at:http://acrath.org.au/education-resource/
- OR you may like to print off this flier (produced by ACRATH Western Australia) and take it to the supermarket
‘Dear Manager…Slavery free chocolate resource’
You can also use your power as a consumer to influence
what products shops and supermarkets
decide to stock.