View Full Version : The Dark Side Of Chocolate

18th April 2014, 20:18
As a devoted chocolate lover, I was shocked and horrified to discover that many of my favorite seasonal treats -- treats that bring so much joy to children here in the U.S. -- are produced using abusive child labor. Major, trusted chocolate brands are often guilty of including cacao harvested by children and slaves in their supply chains.

Now, I choose to boycott any chocolate supplier who refuses to certify their products as free of coercive labor practices, child labor, and human trafficking.

According to an investigative report by the BBC, hundreds of thousands of children are being purchased from their parents or outright stolen and then shipped to Ivory Coast, where they are enslaved on cocoa farms. Destitute parents in these poverty-stricken lands sell their children to traffickers believing that they will find honest work in Ivory Coast and send some of their earnings home. The terrible reality is that these children, 11-to-16-years-old but sometimes younger, are forced to do hard manual labor 80 to 100 hours a week. They are paid nothing, receive no education, are under fed, and are often viciously beaten if they try to escape. Most will never see their families again.

Over a decade ago, two Congressmen, U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, D-New York, and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, attempted to remedy this issue. They introduced legislation mandating a labeling system for chocolate. After the deep pockets of the chocolate corporations protested, a compromise was reached that required chocolate companies to voluntarily certify they had stopped the practice of child labor. Originally, the certification process would include labeling chocolate products "Child Labor Free," but the labeling component was removed as part of the compromise. Many believe the legislation lost its teeth at that point.

Instead of the "Child Labor Free" label, the protocol now calls for public reporting by African governments, establishment of an audit system, and poverty remediation by 2005. The deadline had to be extended to 2008 (read Fortune magazine's report on the state of the protocol in 2008) and again to 2010. Today, human rights organizations report that some of the provisions have still not been met, and it is the biggest corporations who refuse to comply.



18th April 2014, 20:24
It's a sad but real fact, that the vast majority of 'people eating something to live' in this world, somehow involves... some form.. of Murder/Death/Kill.

Like 90%+ of all 'food' in the developed world... in some way, in some form... involves death and/or hardship on the other end.

And you walk into the supermarket and look at all that 'food'.

how do you reconcile that?

I see it every time I walk in, every time I walk down an Aisle full of food.

I see death. I see death as I'm not blind nor do I allow that kind of blindness in myself.

In the direction of lying to myself, lies ruin and bad ends. In that direction lies endings, death,and slavery, and we must stop thinking that way. No matter how painful it may be, I must look at it and see it for what it is.

The supermarket is not bounty, it is a nightmare, a total horror show.

18th April 2014, 23:02
the "dark side" of chocolate is (if my read sources are correct) is Lindt, the leading (supposedly) company of Swiss chocolates (supposedly the best chocolates- but let us not forget the equally fabulous Belgian chocolates) now uses genetically modified cocoa beans for their products; any wonder?- look at their corporate logo/image- it's pure Illuminati-

by the way, the best chocolate I ever ate (and I adore chocolate) was Finnish chocolate introduced to me by a former Finnish co-worker- for whatever that info is worth...


18th April 2014, 23:14
by the way, the best chocolate I ever ate (and I adore chocolate) was Finnish chocolate introduced to me by a former Finnish co-worker- for whatever that info is worth...


Interesting, I wonder what was the brand?

18th April 2014, 23:50

Hi Wind- I hope this finds you well-

it was so long ago and I don't think I ever saw the brand name- was simply handed to me (was just a part of the huge bar) by my very dear former co-worker and absolutely fabulous Finnish mezzo-soprano Ulla Sippola (the most velvety but at the same time very strong voice I ever heard- Finns tend to have extremely beautiful singing voices- but I think it also has a lot to do with very good vocal training in Finnland)- by the way, I'm an opera singer by profession- therefore my commentary-

but back to chocolate: I wish I knew what brand it was... but, wow, it tasted fabulous-

Larry in Germany

18th April 2014, 23:55
Ok Cardillac , I never try chocolate from Finnland. but In Venezuela we have the best strands of cocoa trees ,according to a former belgian chocolate expert on the Chocolate El REY factory ,wich I visit several times, in the city of Barquisimeto, he told me that the cocoa beans collected at CHUAO region have the best aroma ever , and they use it to improove others chocolates , and make the special editions and such. And those are not gmo , they come from 200+ years old plantations .I tell you this because I was there, walking the cocoa plantations w/ friends back in he 80's.

18th April 2014, 23:56
Does anyone know if the organic or free trade chocolate is harvested using child labor?

19th April 2014, 00:00
Does anyone know if the organic or free trade chocolate is harvested using child labor?

'Fair trade' should not be using child labor, but you never really know.


19th April 2014, 00:28

Hi Yetti- many thanks for your posting-

I truly hope what you stated is true; so give all of us 'chocoholics' out there a clue as to how we can find a brand of chocolate out there with it's cocoa-bean source in Venezuela-

by the way, if the following interests you or anyone else, in my specific area of SW Germany, many people (if you don't know this already) emigrated in the early 20th Century, due to poverty in Germany, to...(guess where?)...Venezuela; so chances are if you have formerly German-speaking neighbors they originally came from my present tiny enclave in SW Germany (one town in my area lost half of its population at that time due to emigration to Venezuela);

please continue to be well-


19th April 2014, 02:00
Multiple government and NGO programs have been developed, attempting to address the root causes of “the worst forms of child labor” and slavery in West Africa. However, the success of these efforts will depend greatly on the genuine support or lack thereof from the chocolate industry over the coming years.


It is important to offer ways in which people can make decisions to do their best to not contribute to injustices and cruelties involved in the food industry. This issue is a very difficult one to fully access as the most serious abuses are taking place across the world. However, that does not mean our responsibility is diminished since chocolate is indeed a luxury (though some might feel differently) and not a necessity like fruits and vegetables. Taking all of this into consideration and looking at the research that is available, at this time F.E.P. recommends that people do not buy any chocolate sourced from areas in West African where child slavery is the most pervasive.


19th April 2014, 05:08
If that is horrifying to you, halffull, then I´ve got bad news for you. Many more of our household items have a dark side.
If you´re about to boycot cocoa because of this, you have to consider that also indispensables like tea and coffee most likely
have been harvested by underpaid workers living under slave-like conditions. Even the fairtrade products. Mobilephones and other electronics contain metals/minerals that often
have been mined by child-labour. Same with mica, a component used in a lot of makeup. Most asian carpets are being produced by child slaves. And much of our clothes are being made in the far east by people working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for a lousy wage. And I suspect that a lot of the exotic fruits and staples like rice are harvested under less than acceptable western standards. So there is actually not a lot you can use/consume with a squeaky-clean conscience.

19th April 2014, 06:48
Cadbury's (Kraft) chocolates is supposed to use Fair Trade suppliers and there are plenty of brands of all sorts of food stuffs that have a Fair Trade brand or label. Oxfam can give you all the information you want, and they publish lists of fair trade areas and brands. African countries are very likely to be culprits, though others on that continent have co-operated. Rice, whilst it requires hard work to plant and harvest, is usually produced by farmers and family, or farmers as part of a cooperative. We may not agree with the way it is done but it is not slavery, or child exploitation, as the children will attend school and be looked after as well as help on the farm (as in western countries until the middle of the last century).

The problem facing reformers is that the wages of the children (or the price of buying a little slave) is essential to the family budget. We must work with the countries concerned to stop this, but we must also put something in to replace the lost income.

This may mean we need to pay more for not only luxuries, but also our necessities and our clothes for instance. So far we do not seem to be prepared to do this by investing fairly in these countries, and employing older workers on a living wage.

19th April 2014, 09:02

Greetings all!

It would be only fare to mention that chocolate -- cocoa is not the only agricultural product to employ 'child slavery' and human trafficking.
The second most valuable commodity after oil is coffee. We can include here also the production of wheat, rise, cotton, tea, tobacco, mass cheap toy production, general farming, fishing, aquaculture, forestry, and livestock.
What we are witnessing are the effects of an unbalanced, non-human-oriented political, social and economic world structure. Until all interconnected areas are addressed, we will be only talking about the surface expression of a much more serious and deeper internal issue.

You can read more here:





When I walk into the shops all I see is death, but a different kind of death. I see food stripped off its vital energy, with no energetic vibrancy and value. I see also lots of chemistry, nicely packed in a shimmery synthetic packaging.
And of course, lots of animal death, too.

19th April 2014, 13:14
This is not just a new problem. The man that married my grandmother after my grandfather's death could not read or write. He had been adopted into a farm family who used him for labor so he never went to school after first grade. This was in the U.S.

He was a good and loving man but, had to make an X when he signed his name. Grandpa Bill Kohl RIP.

26th April 2014, 01:47
TO: CARDILLAC. Hi Larry. well I do not live anymore in Venezuela, there is a whole town full of german descendant people there near Caracas it calls: Colonia Tovar.
Good food and fresh veggies there all yearlong .
the brand of choc I was talking about is EL REY and comes in 1 kilo bars. I know you can get it in Florida and New York. But search the web!