The 58 million pounds of chocolate eaten on chocolate the drenched holiday of Valentines Day is likely made from cocoa beans from West Africa. The Ivory Coast, also known as Cote D'ivoire in Africa is the source of about 35 percent of the world’s cocoa production. These cocoa beans were likely harvested by unpaid child workers that are being held captive on plantations as slaves. Chocolate companies use these cocoa plantations as their cocoa source for their chocolate products. And since the companies want to maximize their profit, they push plantation owners to lower prices, causing plantations to cut price any way possible (Philpott).
The result is children getting trafficked into Ivory Coast from surrounding countries like Mali and Ghana, and then sold to plantations to become slaves so the plantations don’t have to pay for workers. Most of the children will never see their families again and will not receive an education. If they are eventually released or escape from the plantation, they will most likely live in poverty for the rest of their lives because they didn’t receive an education as a child and lack basic knowledge (Philpott). The chocolate industry has the power to reduce child slavery and child trafficking on the West Coast of Africa by simply paying plantations proper wages, but what will cause them to take that step in ending the cruelty?
Daily Life On a Plantation & Basic Facts
There are plantations throughout West Africa, but the country most abundant with them is Ivory Coast (Romano). On these plantations, children work about 80-100 hours weeks. They are paid nothing and they receive no education. They’re often under fed, making it difficult for them to have enough energy to do work. Most...
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...d to give 1.14 million dollars over the span of three years to partner with SourceTrust to look over farms in Ghana. In one year they visited and helped 48 communities, and their goal is to visit 176 more by 2015 (Oconnell).
Over time, the progress of ending child slavery in the chocolate industry has been improved. When the large chocolate corporations started making the changes needed, the issue of child slavery became a smaller problem. But there can always be more that can be done. Out of all the companies listed above, their collected income is a lot more than The Ivory Coast’s GDP, which is around 24 billion. Yet they have only helped built a small amount of the needed 36,000 schools in the country. Hopefully the chocolate companies will continue to help and stay on track when it comes to ending the problem that they knowingly contributed to for many years.
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