Halloween is nearly a week away, and many will be giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. But do many of us know where chocolate that we hand out comes from?
For most chocolate, the production chain begins in West Africa. Nearly two-thirds of the entire world’s cocoa production comes from the region. And the majority of that comes from Cote d’Ivoire.
But there is a growing concern about the labor practices in cocoa farming. According to government estimates, there are more than 2 million children laboring in cocoa farms throughout West Africa. Much of the fair trade and “certified” chocolate people consume is not much better.
Journalists and NGOs have been exposing the troubling labor practices in the region for years, but as of late, some U.S. government officials have been investigating the troubling labor practices.
Peter Whoriskey, a staff writer at the Washington Post, joins The Takeaway. His recent investigation documented the stories of children working at the cocoa farms.
And Charity Ryerson, Legal Director and Founder of the Corporate Accountability Lab, also joins The Takeaway to discuss. The Corporate Accountability Lab released a report earlier this year, documenting the harsh labor conditions in Cote d’Ivoire’s cocoa farms. Read more…