The Cost of Indulgence
A breaking investigation from the CNN freedom project “Chocolate’s Child Slaves” has recently shed light on the shocking abuse of children in the Ivory Coast cocoa production hub that so many of our confectionery producers rely on for their raw materials. One ten year old boy, Abdul, uses a machete to open the cocoa beans for a living. Here, “living” is used in the broadest of terms; he receives no pay other than basic food items. He admits he has never tried the chocolate that his beans are made from. Another boy, bearing numerous machete scars on his young limbs, tells how he was brought to work on the plantation by his widowed mother but yearns to go to school. He has no hope of ever doing so.Watch this short video, originally from the CNN website:
In 2000, a major consumerism report indicated that customers simply lacked interest in ethical produce. Today, Fairtrade products and other ethical brands are enjoying considerable support from consumers and the government, with 4.4 billion dollars worth of sales and a brand awareness rate of 70%.
It is encouraging that even in today’s troubled global economy, consumers still realize that their small indulgences may come at a great cost to others, and care enough to vote with their wallets.