Child slavery is a crime against humanity
April 1, 2018 8:17 AM   Subscribe

Happy Easter: Does Your Chocolate Come From Slaves?
The probably answer is yes. Child Labor and Slavery in the Chocolate Industry.
The boy with the machete is watching us. Behind a bittersweet industry; What will it take to fix the problem?

When you look at the bottle of wine, it usually says the year it was made and where it was made and sourced from. I’ve never seen a wine bottle that just says “made with grapes"

On the positive side; Nestle sued again; and Mars and Hershey fined but of course there are those companies that look for legal loopholes.

You can't take the head in the sand approach to your supply chain. That if you know that you're using child slaves, then you are legally responsible for it and you can no longer simply say: 'we're just buying the stuff.

In 2016, the U.S. chocolate market was expected to reach $22 billion in projected sales.

So How much child labor is in the chocolate bar you're eating? 5 Major Chocolate Companies That Use Child Labor and Australia's stopthetraffik has a pdf report.

You also might want to watch The Chocolate Case (some background.)
posted by adamvasco (63 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
Divine and Equal Exchange are great sources of really tasty, ethical chocolate. And once you start eating good chocolate, you'll never want to put a Hershey bar in your mouth again, even after 2020.
posted by rikschell at 8:26 AM on April 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


And once you start eating good chocolate, you'll never want to put a Hershey bar in your mouth again

Or, you'll never want to eat Hershey chocolate because they add something that tastes like vomit to the chocolate.
posted by Talez at 8:30 AM on April 1, 2018 [8 favorites]


Here's the list of ethical vegan chocolate companies.
posted by aniola at 8:32 AM on April 1, 2018 [8 favorites]


Ethical Chocolate Companies

A list of companies and labels to look for when buying chocolate.

The company that disappoints me is Lindt; I loved their higher percentage dark chocolate but they're one of the ones that won't join any of the certification organizations and has a goal of 2020 for cleaning up their supply themselves.
posted by Foosnark at 8:33 AM on April 1, 2018 [12 favorites]


Ah good, finally a relevant thread to share my fave complaint.

I wish companies would stop calling it "Swiss" or "Belgian" chocolate because while yes, I get they perfected the conching process, there is no cocoa grown in those countries and there is no reason to associate their names with the finished product.

Also, if you want really ethical chocolate, they grow cocoa in the big island of Hawaii these days and it's looney expensive but it's a completely domestic product where all the workers get paid American wages.
posted by GuyZero at 8:40 AM on April 1, 2018 [13 favorites]


In my experience, people don’t eat Hershey’s chocolate because they love it or don’t understand that there is better chocolate out there, it’s because they can’t afford anything else.
posted by corey flood at 8:40 AM on April 1, 2018 [6 favorites]


I’ve never seen a wine bottle that just says “made with grapes"

'tis the season my friend so let me tell you about Manischewitz
posted by OverlappingElvis at 8:43 AM on April 1, 2018 [39 favorites]


I'd rather save up for good chocolate once a month than have Hershey's every day. It's vaguely chocolate-flavored sugar. People eat it because it's a consumer good they've been trained to "like," like Coca-Cola. Not to yuck someone else's yum, but it's like briefly dipping a teabag in tepid water and calling it tea.
posted by rikschell at 8:49 AM on April 1, 2018


Oh thank goodness Purdy's is on the list! That is my family's go-to chocolate, and I have a whole basket of chocolate eggs sitting on my counter.
posted by just_ducky at 8:54 AM on April 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


When you look at the bottle of wine, it usually says the year it was made and where it was made and sourced from. I’ve never seen a wine bottle that just says “made with grapes"
I’m all with you on un-evil chocolate, but erm, a wine’s label is not somewhere you’ll find out much about how ethically it was produced... nor does it ever really specify its ingredients either. Just sayin...)

posted by progosk at 9:02 AM on April 1, 2018 [10 favorites]


The Fortune article is really good, especially with documenting the promises and efforts made by Big Candy and how successful they've actually been. WRT the comparison with wine, though, that's not true of almost everything that you eat and drink, unless you're strictly a locavore. Also keep in mind why American children were/are traditionally let out of school in the summer.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:13 AM on April 1, 2018 [6 favorites]


People eat it because it's a consumer good they've been trained to "like," like Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola is legitimately goddamn weird and delicious, FIGHT ME.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:22 AM on April 1, 2018 [19 favorites]


MetaFilter, (v.): to yuck someone else's yum
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:29 AM on April 1, 2018 [17 favorites]


it's like briefly dipping a teabag in tepid water and calling it tea

/fortifies self with a nice well brewed pot of M&S Kenyan at the very thought

It isn't, though, because a weak tea is just slightly bitter water, whereas weak chocolate is still made of fat and sugar and thus biologically extremely favoured. (I realise that the supply chain for tea is also extremely problematic).
posted by ambrosen at 9:29 AM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


'tis the season my friend so let me tell you about Manischewitz

The Jewish people have suffered enough.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:32 AM on April 1, 2018 [12 favorites]


True story: a bright young kid from City College headed to graduate school to study philosophy at Oxford. They were serving wine at some reception welcoming new students. They asked if he'd like a glass of wine.

"Do you have Manischewitz?"

They didn't.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:36 AM on April 1, 2018 [8 favorites]


Does anybody know where Trader Joe's gets its couverture chocolate for the dark chocolate almonds? I love those little bastards.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:58 AM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


Has anyone brought up Tony's Chocolonely yet?

tl;dr: Teun van de Keuken, a journalist investigating the chocolate slave trade, tried to bring a lawsuit on behalf of four child slaves—and against himself as a complicit consumer—in Dutch court. The suit didn't go through, but the stunt successfully raised awareness of the issue of child slavery in chocolate production. His next endeavor was to attempt to produce a bar made of slavery-free chocolate.

The company acknowledges the difficulty of ensuring that exploitative child labor plays no part in their supply chain, but is dedicated to setting an example for best practices in the industry.

The chocolate is pretty okay, too.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:02 AM on April 1, 2018 [7 favorites]


People eat it because it's a consumer good they've been trained to "like," like Coca-Cola.

Thank god we’re all too enlightened to fall for this “liking” nonsense.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 11:37 AM on April 1, 2018 [35 favorites]


People eat it because it's a consumer good they've been trained to "like," like Coca-Cola.

This is a silly, ignorant thing to say.
posted by dazed_one at 11:44 AM on April 1, 2018 [17 favorites]


We're reaching peak Hershey's vomit meme. 3000 word technical foodie viral blogpost explaining why it's not just ok but actually preferable to enjoy Hershey's chocolate imminent.
posted by laptolain at 11:51 AM on April 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure that a post about child slavery is the right place to have the discussion about how Hershey's is shit and other chocolate is much better. Because the problem isn't how Hershey's tastes; it's child slavery. This is a good time to reflect on your own chocolate consumption, because better quality chocolate isn't the same as slavery-free chocolate.

So back on the topic. Does anyone know if there's a chocolate-buying guide app, like Monterey Bay's Seafood Watch, to help you evaluate a brand or label when you're actually in the shop?
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 12:04 PM on April 1, 2018 [59 favorites]


Does anyone know if there's a chocolate-buying guide app, like Monterey Bay's Seafood Watch, to help you evaluate a brand or label when you're actually in the shop?

Man. The fact that we’re like “hey is there an app to help me avoid supporting actual slavery?” rather than “LET ME CALL MY SENATOR AND INFORM THEM OF THIS OUTRAGE” is...

Quite a statement.

Like I’m with you. Of course I want the app. This is just another one of those moments when the absolute fucknuttery of our timeline hits me square in the face.
posted by schadenfrau at 12:12 PM on April 1, 2018 [15 favorites]


My family always gets See's Candies for Easter. It looks like they get their chocolate from Guittard which sources "cocoa beans that are certified by Fair Trade USA and Rainforest Alliance."

Not that these organizations are always successful in preventing sale of chocolate produced from child labor, as the second link indicates. But maybe it can have a positive effect if we put pressure on these organizations to be persistent and accurate and to require our chocolate sources to be certified.
posted by eye of newt at 12:15 PM on April 1, 2018


Does anyone know if there's a chocolate-buying guide app, like Monterey Bay's Seafood Watch, to help you evaluate a brand or label when you're actually in the shop?

Yes, there is an app at the top of the ethical vegan chocolate list (I haven't downloaded it).
posted by oneirodynia at 12:18 PM on April 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


Well, it looks like the link oneirodynia provides doesn't recommend See's or Guittard, but says that at least Guittard is working on the issues. I'll have to bookmark that link.
posted by eye of newt at 12:24 PM on April 1, 2018


Has anyone brought up Tony's Chocolonely yet -check out the last link in the FPP.

The voluntary Harkin Engel Protocol was a disaster. The corporations aren't interested. Their "duty" is to their share holders.
The slaving countries make their income from export not from taxes paid by the grower so they too have little no interest.
The only way that is going to happen is consumer pressure.
Tax on inported chocolate as opposed to raw cacao in consumer producing countries is at such a high rate that it is prohibitive for these countries to start their own industry even if the majors would let them into the market. (Relics of colonialism)
Labelling is a big issue. This would lead to Commital to 100% sustainable independently verified cocoa purchasing. (see pdf pg 22 major components to certification.)
posted by adamvasco at 12:34 PM on April 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


Thank god we’re all too enlightened to fall for this “liking” nonsense.

I totally favorited that comment!
posted by sexyrobot at 1:13 PM on April 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


This thread prompted me to look into what became of Fred Schilling, the fellow who started and then sold Dagoba Chocolate to Hershey's. He said he intended to do something socially responsible with the millions he netted from the sale. I thought it was developing cacao production in west Africa but a little googling reveals he wound up starting a business in Indonesia instead. It's called Big Tree Farms. Among other things, the company apparently operates a chocolate manufactury that is constructed primarily from...bamboo?
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 1:19 PM on April 1, 2018


All of the US aquariums I've visited have seafood watch brochures.
posted by brujita at 1:32 PM on April 1, 2018


I don't consider myself a chocoholic, but I do like good chocolate (when I can afford it). I already avoid most mainstream chocolate due to it having milk ingredients, but I will definitely try to be more conscious of my purchases when I buy chocolate from now on. It may mean not buying it as often due to cost, but that's fine.
posted by Kitteh at 1:33 PM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


The simplest way to combat child labor and slavery in the chocolate industry is simple: just stop eating chocolate. It's not as though you need it to survive.
posted by happyroach at 2:19 PM on April 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


People do make a living off of cocoa. Abolishing chocolate forever will not do a whole lot to solve the problems of rural poverty that send kids to their parents' cacao plantations instead of to school, or to solve the economic incentives that make child slavery and human trafficking a viable source of labor. Pressure needs to be put on companies like Nestle and Hershey and others to pay cacao farmers enough money for their product that they aren't being exploited and exploiting others in turn.
posted by ChuraChura at 2:43 PM on April 1, 2018 [26 favorites]


The comparison to grapes is ... interesting. I mean, who do these people think is picking fruit in the US? Surprise: It’s kids.

(Not to excuse the chocolate industry, just to say, you know, let’s not pretend it’s some weird edge case. This shit is EVERYWHERE, in EVERYTHING.)
posted by Sys Rq at 4:05 PM on April 1, 2018 [9 favorites]


I like to think of cocoa (and coffee & sugar) as gateways for learning about this. For learning how to see.
posted by aniola at 4:26 PM on April 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


aniola, your comment reminds me of something I read. In the 1850s, some American abolitionists were so dedicated to repudiating slave-made sugar that they not only used maple sugar exclusively, but carried little packets of maple sugar out with them, so that if they were invited to tea at someone else's house, they would not have to take so much as a spoonful of white sugar. If we saw someone doing that today with some household product, we would consider it insufferable, and yet we all would like to think that we would have been abolitionists then.

(Since I posted earlier, I have developed a personal grudge against Trader Joe's chocolate for being in the immediate vicinity not once but twice when my temporary crown has come off. If I have to give it up, it will be easier.)
posted by Countess Elena at 4:41 PM on April 1, 2018 [12 favorites]


People eat it because it's a consumer good they've been trained to "like," like Coca-Cola.

I don't care why people like Hersheys (I mean, I can remember loving it as a kid, there is a reason it is popular), I care if the company upgrades their supply chain to at least minimally ethical. It's the same with wine -- people don't have to drink the good stuff, but even cheap wine shouldn't be made by slaves.

I just checked, and my current favorite chocolates claim to be "fair trade certified" and sourced from the Dominican Republic. I would have been very sad otherwise.

The comparison to grapes is ... interesting. I mean, who do these people think is picking fruit in the US? Surprise: It’s kids.

I'd be interested if there are statistics for this specific to viticulture. I've been on some vineyards and know winemakers, and child labor is not part of that picture, but this is at the upper, artisanal end of the market. The big commodity growers are probably just as bad as any other part of big agriculture in terms of workers' rights, unfortunately.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:56 PM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


The child labour in grape picking is a bit off track. The comparison was being made as regards to labelling. Vinicultutre has pride in its product and therefore a labelling system of origen works. There is no impetus to make W, African cocoa growers proud of anything except survival.
The end purchasers - the chocolate makers especially the multinationals, mouth platitudes and wring their hands, mouth platitudes and talk about inititiatives but actually do very little except check their bank balances. They are extremely secretive. We are not talking just mere price gouging by giving consumers an endorphine buzz packaged in sexy paper and plastic. We could actually be talking about legal drug dealers exploiting children for the masses to get off on. Now excuse me why I have another bite of fairtrade chocolate
posted by adamvasco at 6:21 PM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


Fairtrade is basically counterproductive marketing hogwash. You can’t solve the problems of capitalism through positive reinforcement, real or not. The only way to actually solve this is through legislation.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:26 PM on April 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


I would imagine it's easier to legislate something that's already got some momentum.
posted by aniola at 9:20 PM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


Well, quite. But if the middle class thinks it’s already solved the problem by paying a dollar extra for a logo, and the working class is too busy working to fight, what momentum are we talking about?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:32 PM on April 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


(Re: grapes, Saturday was Cesar Chavez Day, so maybe commemorate it by reading about the Delano grape strike?)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:51 PM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


Then now we're back to fair-trade cocoa (etc) leading to an awareness of the need for fairly-traded everything.

Legislation should be going beyond fair trade. Fair trade implies that there's an equal distribution of resources. Legislation should be working on reparations.
posted by aniola at 10:29 PM on April 1, 2018


AdamVasco, I appreciate your passion for the topic, but I think you're overstating There is no impetus to make W, African cocoa growers proud of anything except survival. The guys I work with and friends who farm cacao in Côte d'Ivoire do more than just eke out survival. They produce cacao in the face of poverty, violence, and an increasingly unpredictable climate. They are proud of their farms and farmland, they are proud of their agricultural output, and they are proud to be providing for their families. They should be paid more. They should be guaranteed better prices and protected in case of injury or crop failure due to weather. There are a lot of things that these companies can do to protect children and farmers in West Africa, but it is both presumptuous and dismissive to say all that West African cacao producers have to be proud of is surviving.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:01 PM on April 1, 2018 [25 favorites]


Or that they have a completely different set of motivations for successfully growing crops than other farmers.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:08 PM on April 1, 2018 [7 favorites]


Foosnark: Ethical Chocolate Companies

A list of companies and labels to look for when buying chocolate.

GuyZero: Also, if you want really ethical chocolate, they grow cocoa in the big island of Hawaii these days and it's looney expensive but it's a completely domestic product where all the workers get paid American wages.
Oh great, I'm glad someone has found a simple and easy solution to this complex problem.

Artificially distorting the global cocoa economy towards buying in South America, raising prices there and lowering them in West Africa, might be a great way to feel morally secure about your relationship with West Africans by shoving them back out of sight, but its just about the most destructive way consumers can engage with this issue if the goal is to actually help independent West African farmers and the children who work on many of their farms. The roots of both the problem of children working on their family's farms and the problem of children being trafficked on some farms are ultimately caused by much bigger things than chocolate. Rural poverty in West Africa is complex, rooted in colonialism, abetted by country specific problems with governmental corruption and apathy towards rural areas, and sure as fuck not going to be solved by taking away the livelihoods of family farms so that rich white westerners can feel smug about how their choices are at least insulated from the realities of much of the developing world. So no, buying chocolate with cocoa from Brazil or Hawaii for silly prices does not at all represent taking your head out of the sand as the FPP suggests. Letting your part be to lay one more brick in an economic wall between yourself, your wealth and West Africa is certainly not helping anyone, least of all West African children who should be in school.

The path towards economic justice will place West African farmers in a position of more power relative to cocoa purchasers where they will be able to demand higher prices without being undercut by new people giving cocoa farming a shot much less production from elsewhere. This means tackling the addressable roots of rural poverty with investments in education, accessible health care, public health infrastructure, and in physical infrastructure.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:53 AM on April 2, 2018 [9 favorites]


they not only used maple sugar exclusively, but carried little packets of maple sugar out with them, so that if they were invited to tea at someone else's house, they would not have to take so much as a spoonful of white sugar

They could've just not taken sugar. Drink your tea black and be morally consistent and entirely sufferable.
posted by Dysk at 12:55 AM on April 2, 2018


Incidentally, could the other editors of Fortune really not find anyone better to send to the cocoa farms of Côte d'Ivoire than a white city boy who doesn't even speak standard French?
posted by Blasdelb at 1:24 AM on April 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


They could've just not taken sugar. Drink your tea black and be morally consistent and entirely sufferable.

That would depend on whether you were trying to be morally clean at a personal level (so avoiding slavery sugar is the primary concern) or if you were trying to create conversations about the topic (so creating some social friction helps). Bringing your own sweetener packets would definitely help the second; drinking your tea black fits the first.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:17 AM on April 2, 2018 [6 favorites]


"No thanks, I'll take it black, no slave sugar for me!"

You can do both. And you don't have to ruin your tea (or insult your hosts' hospitality by presuming to bring sugar) to do it either.
posted by Dysk at 6:23 AM on April 2, 2018


You can do both. And you don't have to ruin your tea (or insult your hosts' hospitality by presuming to bring sugar) to do it either.

I agree. It's basically a spectrum of confrontation, from "no thanks, I'll take it black" (zero confrontation) to "no thanks, I'm not comfortable using slave sugar" (medium confrontation) to "I brought my own slave-free sweetener and let me tell you all about it" (high confrontation). I'm sure activists back then used all of those and more depending on the situation and their assessment of what was effective.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:13 AM on April 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


Are we really having a conversation about how some abolitionists were insufferable and should have chosen more polite ways to protest slavery?
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:56 AM on April 2, 2018 [16 favorites]


The simplest way to combat child labor and slavery in the chocolate industry is simple: just stop eating chocolate. It's not as though you need it to survive.

The vast majority of our food supply is equally tainted, however, and it turns out you actually DO need some food to survive.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:43 AM on April 2, 2018 [4 favorites]


(I apologize if I am sounding like a broken anti-progress record on the Blue lately; I simply don't understand when/how the conversation shifted from "let's fix the things" to "we must renounce all things problematic." As has been pointed out above, suddenly decimated economies are of little help to oppressed persons.)
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:17 AM on April 2, 2018 [9 favorites]


MetaFilter: morally consistent and entirely sufferable
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:51 AM on April 2, 2018 [3 favorites]




from that link:
Things that were until recently luxuries – manicures, clothes that change fashion every few weeks, regular holiday breaks to hotels, eating out frequently, having your car hand-valeted, using manual labour to dig out a basement under your house – are now presented to us as affordable, everyday even. Where they have become so, it is in large part thanks to other people being badly paid at best, or victims of modern slavery at worst. The squeezed middle has been bought off by the illusion that it can share the consuming habits of those with runaway incomes at the top; but it can’t – not without squeezing those further down the chain.
posted by aniola at 1:53 PM on April 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


Things that were until recently luxuries – manicures, clothes that change fashion every few weeks, regular holiday breaks to hotels, eating out frequently, having your car hand-valeted, using manual labour to dig out a basement under your house – are now presented to us as affordable, everyday even. Where they have become so, it is in large part thanks to other people being badly paid at best, or victims of modern slavery at worst.

The problem is that by these standards, other "luxuries" the 99% should resign themselves to life without include:
-a nutritionally complete diet made of actual foods
-participation in any digital technologies

It's safe to tut-tut at people about their manicures and vacations, but to truly renounce modern slavery in all its forms all but the most wealthy people would need to renounce a great deal of modern LIFE.

And FUCK that -- what we need to renounce is the wealthy, and restore to the population everything they have stolen from us, rendering so many of us sufficiently vulnerable to trafficking and slavery. Where people have their needs met and opportunities available, human traffickers have a hard job indeed.

Like climate change, and slavery the first time around, this is not a problem that can be solved through sheer individual virtue. This has to be solved through legislation and global commitments to humanity.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:59 PM on April 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


In short: Don't eat Nestle, eat the fucking rich.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 2:02 PM on April 2, 2018 [6 favorites]


I agree with you, We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese, except for one thing: having your car hand-valetedwashed.

It might be a UK thing, but hand car washes are pure evil portals for exploitation, illegal starvation level wages, and often trafficked workers, not to mention the fact that automated car washes are straight out better. Except for the feeling of having a servant. Screw that. If you own a car, use automated car washes.
posted by ambrosen at 2:31 PM on April 2, 2018


The thing is, cacao as currently produced really *is* problematic. They're are human rights abuses. There are national parks being deforested to plant cacao plantations and because of this, endemic primates and other animals are being pushed to extinction (research by the team I'm part of)). There are human rights abuses as farmers are forcibly and sometimes violently removed from national parks.

The thing is, cacao production is an extractive, exploitative industry that sucks resources from the global South and takes the global North to be processed and sold. Chocolate companies don't do nearly enough to support farmers; they're working on conservation now because the optics are so bad, but it's certainly easier to convince people to care that no elephants were harmed in the making of their Reese's than it is to think about the people producing your chocolate. And, like I've said before, the adults farming cacao are smart, savvy, globally connected people and they know they're living and working in an exploitative system. The kids being trafficked and laboring as slaves don't really have a choice in the matter.

I don't agree that the best way to solve this problem is to boycott chocolate coming from West Africa - cacao prices are so volatile and it's one of the few sources of consistent cash for lots of people. I also think it's immoral for people to learn about this and then shrug their shoulders and say "People are just too sensitive and eager to call something problematic." It is a problem that chil slavery helps make your Kit Kat. It is a problem that the international cocoa market is currently paying $2/kg - what percentage of that do you honestly think goes to cocoa farmers? I can tell you that food prices are rising in Côte d'Ivoire and cocoa prices are falling and the last time I was there I helped more than one family buy a sack of rice because there just wasn't enough money to stretch to feed everyone before the next batch of cacao was sold. It is a problem that Nestle and Hershey's and the aggregators of cacao at the regional and village levels don't feel compelled to markedly improve conditions for the farmers they rely on. And it's a problem that we consumers in the Global North get to shrug our shoulders instead of feeling like we need to speak to our legislators, speak to Nestle, speak to the French government who can't keep from dipping their fingers in their former colony's chocolate and politics, speak to the Ivorian and Ghanaian government. There's a difference between devastating local economies, mass boycotts, and actually doing something about it.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:04 PM on April 2, 2018 [6 favorites]


Is there a (presumably bigger) list of chocolates that don't use slave-grown cacao if we're okay with some child labor? I mean, child labor is a complicated issue (I'm not comfortable with it but nor am I comfortable brushing poverty under the rug so I don't have to see it), but I sure would like to avoid funding literal slavery.
posted by Easy problem of consciousness at 5:27 PM on April 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


Because cacao is aggregated at the local/regional level before it's bought by wholesalers and sold to bigger companies, it's really hard to trace individual beans unless you're doing certified fair trade single origin type stuff.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:35 PM on April 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


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